Print Page | Close Window

Let Us Be Muslims

Printed From: IslamiCity.com
Category: Reviews - Media
Forum Name: Books, Newspapers & Magazines
Forum Discription: Books, Newspapers, Magazines, etc.
URL: http://www.IslamiCity.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=488
Printed Date: 21 December 2014 at 2:42am


Topic: Let Us Be Muslims
Posted By: Suleyman
Subject: Let Us Be Muslims
Date Posted: 09 April 2005 at 1:00pm

Fundamentals of Islam Part One Iman
By Maulana Sayyid Abul A'la Maududi


Contents


1. Knowledge, the First Step
2. Between Islam and Kufr
3. How Muslims Treat the Qur’an
4. True Meaning of Iman
5. Why is the Kalimah Unique?
6. Why Believe in the Kalimah?

KNOWLEDGE
THE FIRST STEP

Allah’s Greatest Gift
Brothers in Islam! We all as Muslims sincerely believe that Islam is the greatest blessing that Allah has given us in this world. We find our hearts filled with gratitude to Him for including us in the Ummah of the Prophet Muhammad, blessings and peace be on him, and bestowing upon us this unique blessing. Allah Himself describes Islam as His most invaluable gift to His servants: ‘Today I have perfected your Din way of life for you, and I have completed My blessing upon you, and I have willed that Islam be the Way for you’ (al-Ma’idah 5:3).

To be truly grateful for this greatest favour, you must therefore render to Allah His due. If you do not do so, you are undoubtedly an ungrateful person. And what ingratitude can be worse than to forget what you owe to your God.

How can we, you may ask, render these dues?

Since Allah has been gracious enough to include you in the Ummah of the Prophet Muhammed, blessings and peace be on him, the best way of showing gratitude-and there is no other way-is to become totally committed followers of the Prophet. And, since He has made you a part of the Muslim Ummah, to become true Muslims. If you do not, the punishment for your ingratitude will be as great as the original gift was. May Allah save us all from this great punishment! Amin.

You will now ask: How can we become Muslims in the true sense of the word? This question I shall answer in considerable detail in my forthcoming addresses; but today I want to look at a point of fundamental importance, without which we cannot hope to discover true faith. This, you must understand, is the first essential step on your road to becoming a true Muslim.

Is Islam a Birthright?

But, first, think for a while: What does the word ‘Muslim’, which we all use so often, really mean? Can a person a Muslim simply because he is the son or grandson of a Muslim? Is a Muslim born a Muslim just as a Hindu Brahman’s son is a Brahman, or an Englishman’s son is born an Englishman, or a white man’s son is born a white man, or a Negro’s son is born a Negro? Are ‘Muslims’ a race, a nationality or a caste? Do Muslims belong to the Muslim Ummah like Aryans belong to the Aryan race? And, just as a Japanese is a Japanese because he is born in Japan, is a Muslim similarly a Muslim by being born in a Muslim country?

Your answer to these questions will surely be: No. A Muslim does not become truly a Muslim simply because he is born a Muslim. A Muslim is not a Muslim because he belongs to any particular race; he is a Muslim because he follows Islam. If he renounces Islam, he ceases to be a Muslim. Any person, whether a Brahman or a Rajput, an Englishman or a Japanese, a white or a black, will, on accepting Islam, become a full member of the Muslim community; while a person born in a Muslim home may be expelled from the Muslim community if he gives up following Islam, even though he may be a descendant of the prophet, an Arab or Pathan.

Such will surely be your answer to my question. This establishes that the greatest gift of Allah which you enjoy-that of being a Muslim-is not something automatically inherited from your parents, which remains yours for life by right irrespective of your attitudes and behaviour. It is a gift which you must continually strive to deserve if you want to retain it; if you are indifferent to it, it may be taken away from you, God forbid.

No Mere Verbal Profession

You agree that we become Muslims only by accepting Islam. But what does acceptance of Islam mean? Does it mean that whoever makes a verbal profession-‘I am a Muslim’ or ‘I have accepted Islam’-becomes a true Muslim? Or does it mean that, just as a Brahman worshipper may recite a few words of Sanskrit without understanding them, a man who utters some Arabic phrases without knowing their meaning becomes a Muslim? What reply will you give to this question? You Cannot but answer that accepting Islam means that Muslims should consciously and deliberately accept what has been taught by the Prophet Muhammad, blessings and peace be on him, and act accordingly. People who do not so behave are not Muslims in the true sense.

No Islam Without Knowledge

Islam, therefore, consists, firstly, of knowledge and, secondly, of putting that knowledge into practice. A man can be white and have no knowledge; because he is born white he will remain so. Similarly, an Englishman will remain an Englishman though he may have no knowledge, because he has been born an Englishman. But no man becomes truly a Muslim without knowing the meaning of Islam, because he becomes a Muslim not through birth but through knowledge. Unless you come to know the basic and necessary teachings of the Prophet Muhammad, blessings and peace be on him, how can you believe in him, have faith in him, and how can you act according to what he taught? And if you do not have faith in him knowingly and consciously, as fully as you can, how can you become true Muslims?

Clearly it is impossible to become a Muslim and remain a Muslim in a state of ignorance. Being born in Muslim homes, bearing Muslim names, dressing like Muslims and calling yourselves Muslims is not enough to make you Muslims; true Muslims know what Islam stands for and believe in it with full consciousness.

The real difference between a Kafir (who does not accept God’s guidance and is ungrateful to Him) and a Muslim is not that of a name, that one is called Smith or Ram Lal and the other Abdullah. No one is a Kafir or a Muslim simply because of his name. Nor does the real difference lie in the fact that one wears a necktie and the other a turban. The real difference is that of knowledge. A Kafir does not understand God’s relationship to him and his relationship to God. As he does not know the will of God he cannot know the right path to follow in his life. If a Muslim, too, grows up ignorant of God’s will, what ground can there be to continue calling him a Muslim rather than a Kafir?

Dangers of Ignorance

Listen carefully, brothers, to the point I am making. It is essential to understand that to remain in possession of, or to be deprived of, the greatest gift of Allah-for which you are so overwhelmed with gratitude-depends primarily on knowledge. Without knowledge, you cannot truly receive His gift of Islam. If your knowledge is so little that you receive only a small portion of it, then you will constantly run the risk of losing even that part of the magnificent gift which you have received unless you remain vigilant in your fight against ignorance.

A person who is totally unaware of the difference between Islam and Kufr (rejection of God’s guidance and ingratitude) and the incongruity between Islam and Shirk (taking gods besides God) is like someone walking along a track in complete darkness. Most likely his steps will wander aside or on to another path without him being aware of what is happening. Maybe he will deceived by the sweet words of the Devil, ‘You have lost your way in the darkness Come, let me lead you to your destination. The poor traveler, not being able to see with his own eyes which is the right path, will grasp the Devil’s hand and be led astray. He faces these dangers because he himself does not possess any light and is, therefore, unable to observe the road signs. If he had light, he would neither lose his way nor be led astray.

This example shows that your greatest danger lies in your ignorance of Islamic teachings and in your unawareness of what the Qur’an teaches and what guidance has been given by the Prophet, blessings and peace be on him. But if you are blessed with the light of knowledge you will be able to see plainly the clear path of Islam at every step of your lives. You will also be able to identify and avoid the false paths of Kufr, Shirk and immorality which may cross it. And, whenever a false guide meets you on the way, a few words with him will quickly establish that he is not a guide who should be followed.

Acquire Knowledge:

Brothers! On this knowledge, whose absolute necessity I stress once again, depends whether you and your children are true Muslim and remain true Muslims. It is, therefore, hardly a trivial matter to be neglected. You do not neglect cultivating your land, irrigating and protecting your crops, supplying fodder to your cattle or doing whatever else is essential to the well-being of your trades and professions. Because you know that if you do you will starve to death and so lose the precious gift of life. Why then should you be negligent in acquiring that knowledge on which depends whether you become Muslims and remain Muslims? Does such negligence not entail the danger of losing an even more precious gift—Your Iman (faith)? Is not Iman more precious than life itself? Most of your time and labour is spent on things which sustain your physical existence in this life. Why can you not spend even a tenth part of your time and energy on things which are necessary to protect your Iman, which only can sustain your being in the present life and in the life to come?

I am not asking you to become scholars, read voluminous books or spend a large part of your lives in the pursuit of knowledge. It is not necessary to study so extensively to become a Muslim. I only want each one of you to spend about one hour of the twenty-four hours of the day and night in acquiring the knowledge of his Din, the way of life, the Islam.

Every one of you, young or old, man or woman, should at least acquire sufficient knowledge to enable him to understand the essence of the teachings of the Qur’an and the purpose for which it has been sent down. You should also be able to understand clearly the mission which the Prophet, blessings and peace be on him, came into this world to fulfil. You should also recognize the corrupt order and system which he came to destroy. You should acquaint yourselves, too, with the way of life which Allah has ordained for Muslims.

No great amount of time is required to acquire this simple knowledge. If you value Iman, it cannot be too difficult to find one hour every day to devote to this.



BETWEEN ISLAM AND KUFR

Muslims or Kafirs?

Brothers in Islam! Every Muslim believes, as you too must surely believe, that Muslims are different from Kafirs; that God likes Muslims and dislikes Kafirs; that Muslims will find God’s forgiveness, while Kafirs will not; that Muslims will go to Heavend (Jannah) and Kafirs to Hell (Jahannum). I want you to consider why there should be so much difference between Muslims and Kafirs.

Kafirs are as much offspring of Adam and Eve as you. They are human beings like yourselves. They possess hands, feet, eyes and ears. They breathe the same air as you, drink the same water and inhabit the same land. The God who created you also created them. So why should they be ranked lower and you higher? Why should you go to Heaven and why should they be cast into Hell?

Consider carefully. Such a vital difference between man and man cannot be simply due to the fact that you have names like Abdullah and Abdur Rahman and they have names like Kartar Singh, Smith and Robertson, or that you are circumcised and they are not, or that you eat meat and they avoid it, or that they eat pork and you do not. Allah, who has created all human beings and who is the Sustainer of all, cannot be so unjust as to decide on such petty grounds which of His creatures to send to Heaven and which to Hell.

Where, then, does the real difference lie between Muslims and Kafirs? The answer is that it lies, simply, in the very nature of Islam and Kufr. The meaning of Islam is submission to God while the meaning of Kufr is denial and disobedience of God. Muslims and Kafirs are both human beings; both are slaves of God. But one becomes exalted and meritorious by reason of recognizing his Master, obeying His orders and fearing the consequences of disobeying Him; while the other disgraces himself by failing to recognize his Master and carry out His orders. This is why Allah is pleased with Muslims and displeased with unbelievers. That is why He promises true Muslims that they will be rewarded with Heaven and warns unbelievers that they will be cast into Hell

Knowledge and Actions

The two things which separate Muslims and Kafirs are, therefore, knowledge and actions. That is, you must first know who your Master is, what His orders are, how to follow His wishes, which deeds please Him and which displease Him. When these things are known, the second step is to make yourselves true slaves of your Master by giving up your own wishes in deference to what He desires.

If your heart desires to do a certain act and your Master’s order is against it, you should carry out that order. If something seems good to you but your Master says that it is bad, you must accept it as bad. And if something else seems bad but your Master says it is good, then you must accept it as good. If you think a certain action will be harmful but your Master says that it must be done, then done, then done it must indeed be, even though it may entail you in loss of life or property. Similarly, if you expect to benefit from a certain action but your Master forbids it, you must refrain from it even though it might have brought all the worldly treasures.

This is the knowledge and actions by which Muslims become true servants of Allah, on whom He bestows His mercy and whom He rewards with honour and dignity. Conversely, Kafirs, since they do not possess this knowledge, are Allah’s disobedient slaves and are denied His blessings.

Now, in all fairness, tell me: if you call yourselves Muslims but in fact are as ignorant and disobedient as a Kafir, can you in reality be superior to the latter merely on the strength of bearing different names, wearing different clothes and eating different foods? Can you on this basis be entitled to the blessings of God in this world and in the Hereafter? Islam is not a race or family in which membership is automatically passed on from father to son. A high caste priest’s son will not command respect in the eyes of God, if he does wrong deeds, just because he is born into a priestly home; nor will He look down on the son of a low caste family, disregarding his good deeds, simply because of his birth.

On this point God has explicitly stated in His Book: ‘Indeed the noblest among you in the sight of God is the most God-fearing of you’ (Al-Hujurat 49:13). That is, the more you know God and the more you obey His commandments, the more honourable you are in His sight, Ibrahim was into the home of an idolator, but he came to know God and obeyed Him. That is why God made him Imam (leader) of the whole world. The son of Nuh was born into a prophet’s home but he did not understand God and disobeyed Him. Despite his high family connection, God so punished him that the punishment became an object lesson for the world.

Understand, therefore, thoroughly that whatever differences there are in the sight of Allah between man and man depend entirely on the state of their knowledge and actions. Both in this world and the Hereafter, God’s blessing is reserved for those who recognize Him, accept the right path shown by Him, and carry out His commandments. Those who do not do these things, whether their names are Abdullah and Abdur Rahman or Kartar Singh, Smith or Robertson, are identical in the sight of God. They are unworthy of His blessings.

Why Are Muslims Humiliated Today?

Brothers! You call yourselves Muslims and you believe that Allah showers His blessings on Muslims. But open your eyes and see if those blessings are in fact descending on you? You cannot know what will happen to you in the Hereafter until after your physical death, but you can most certainly look around you and see your condition here on earth.

There are so many hundreds of millions of you in the world that if each of you were to throw a single pebble they would make a mountain. But even though there are so many Muslims and Muslim governments, the world is in the hands of those who have rebelled against God. Your necks are in their grip, to be turned to whichever side they like; your heads, which should not bow before anybody except Allah, are now bowed before human beings. Your honour, which no one dared to touch, is now being trampled upon. Your hands, which were once always held high, are now lowered and stretched out before your enemies. Ignorance, dependence, poverty and indebtedness have subjected you to ignominy everywhere.

Is this the blessing of Allah? If it is not—but rather a sign of anger—then how strange it is that it is Muslims on whom it is descending! You are Muslims and yet are wallowing in ignominy! You are Muslims and yet are slaves! This situation is impossible as it is for an object to be white and black. If Muslims are the loved ones of God, how can they be treated disgracefully? Is your God (God forbid) so unjust that—while you, for your part, acknowledge His due and obey His orders—He allows the disobedient to rule over you, and punishes you for your obedience to Him?

If it is an article of faith with you that God is not unjust and obedience to God can never result in disgrace, then you will have to concede that there is something wrong in your claim to be Muslims. Although you may be registered as Muslims on your birth certificates, Allah does not base His judgments on what is written on pieces of paper. God prepares his own list of obedient and disobedient servants, and it is in this list that you must search to find your true position.

Allah sent you His Book so that you may know Him and learn how to obey Him. Have you ever tried to discover what is written in it? Allah sent His Prophet to teach you how to become Muslims. Have you ever tried to find out what His Prophet has taught? Allah explicitly informed you which behaviour debases man in this world and the Hereafter. Do you avoid such behaviour? What answers do you have to these questions? If you admit that you have neither sought knowledge from God’s Book and His Prophet’s life nor followed the way shown by him, then how can you claim to be Muslims and to merit His reward? The rewards you are getting now are in direct relation to how good Muslims you are; and your rewards in the Hereafter will be calculated on the same basis.

We have already seen that the only difference between Muslims and Kafirs is in the matter of knowledge and actions. Men who call themselves Muslims but whose knowledge and actions are the same as those of Kafirs are guilty of blatant hypocrisy. Kafirs do not read the Qur’an and do not know what is written in it. If so-called Muslims are equally ignorant, why should they be called Muslims? Kafirs do not know the teachings of the Prophet, blessings and peace be on him, and the straight path he has shown to reach God. If Muslims? Kafirs follow their own desires instead of the commands of Allah. If Muslims are similarly willful and undisciplined, setting their own ideas and opinions on a pedestal, indifferent to God and a slave to lust, what rights have they to call themselves Muslims? Kafirs do not distinguish between Halal (what is permitted by Allah) and Haram (what is prohibited by Allah) and make indiscriminate use of everything and anything, irrespective of whether it is Halal or Haram. If Muslims behave the same as non-Muslims, what difference is there between them and Kafirs?

Put simply: If Muslims are as devoid of knowledge about Islam as Kafirs, and if a Muslim does all those things which a Kafir does, why should he be considered superior to a Kafir and why should his fate not be the same as that of a Kafir? This is a question on which we must all reflect very seriously.

My dear brothers! Do not for a moment think that I am trying to brand Muslims as Kafirs. This is not my purpose at all. I ask myself, and implore each one of you similarly to ask his own heart, as to why we are being denied the blessing of God. Why are tribulations of all sorts descending upon us from all sides? Why are we disunited and shedding each Other’s blood? Why are those whom we call Kafirs (that is, the disobedient slaves of God) everywhere dominating of us? And why are we, who claim to be His obedient slaves, living in servitude in so many parts of the world?

The more I have reflected on the reason for this situation, the more I have become convinced that almost the only difference now left between us and Kafirs is that of mere name; for we in no way lag behind them in neglect of God, in being devoid of fear of Him and in being disobedient to Him.

I say ‘almost’ because there is, of course, a difference between us: we know that

The Qur’an is the Book of God, while Kafirs do not, yet we treat it as a Kafir treats it. And this makes us all the more deserving of punishment. We know that Muhammad, blessings and peace be on him, is the Prophet of Allah and yet we are as unwilling as a Kafir to follow him. We know that God has cursed liars, has positively declared Hell as the abode of all who give and take bribes, has denounced those who borrow and lend at interest as the worst of sinners, has condemned slander as being as bad as eating a brother’s flesh, and has warned that obscene behaviour, pornography and debauchery will meet with the severest punishment. Yet despite knowing all this we freely indulge in all these vices as if we had absolutely no fear of God’s displeasure.

This is why we are not rewarded: we are Muslims in appearance only. The fact that those who do not accept God’s sovereignty rule over us and subject us to ignominy on every possible occasion shows that we are being punished for ignoring Islam –God’s greatest gift to us.

Dear brothers! Nothing I have said today is intended as blame. I have not come to censure. My aim is to kindle to desire in you to recover a treasure that has been lost. Such a desire arises when a man realizes exactly what he has lost and how valuable it was. I have spoken sharp and pungent words only to awaken you and compel you to think.

Desire for Knowledge



To become a real Muslim, as I said, the foremost requisite is knowledge of Islam. Every Muslim ought to know the teaching of the Qur’an, which ways were shown by the Prophet, blessings and peace be on him, what Islam, is and what those things are which really differentiate Islam from Kufr. Nobody can be Muslim without this knowledge. The pity is that you show no desire to acquire this knowledge. This indicates that still you do not realize what a great gift you are being deprived of.

My brothers! A mother does not give milk to her child until he cries and demands it. When a man feels thirsty and he searches for water, God brings him to it. If you yourselves are not conscious of your thirst it will be useless if even a well brimming with water appears before you. You must first understand what a great loss you are suffering by remaining ignorant of Islam. The Book of God is with you but you do not know what is written in it. You do not even know the meaning of the kalimah (La ilaha illa’llah Muhammadu ‘r-rasulu ‘llah (There is no god but Allah; Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger), by reciting which you enter Islam; nor do you appreciate what responsibilities devolve on you after reciting this Kalimah. Can there be a greater loss than this for a Muslim?

You know the damage caused if crops are burnt; you know the suffering which results from failure to earn a livelihood; you know the harm resulting from loss of property. But you do not know the loss of being ignorant of Islam. When you understand the nature of this loss, you will yourselves come and ask to be spared it. And when you make this request then, insha’allah, means will be available to restore this greatest of gifts to you.



HOW MUSLIMS TREAT THE QUR’AN

Brothers in Islam! Muslims are the only people in the world today fortunate enough to possess the word of God preserved in its original form, free from all distortions, and precisely in the wording in which it was sent down upon the Prophet, blessings and peace be on him. Paradoxically, these same Muslims suffer the misfortune of being denied the countless blessings and benefits which the word of God must give to those who believe in it. The Qur’an was sent to them for them to read it, understand it, act upon it, and, with its help, establish on God’s earth the rule of His law. The Qur’an came to grant them dignity and power. It came to make them true vicegerents of God on earth. And history shows that whenever they acted according to its guidance, it did make them the leaders of the world.

Irreverence and Misuse

But now the Qur’an’s usefulness, for many Muslims, consists only in keeping it in their houses to drive away jinns and ghosts, in writing its verses on amulets to hang round their necks or washing those amulets with water and then drinking it, or in reading its contents without comprehending their meaning in the hope of receiving some reward. No longer do they seek guidance from it for their lives. No longer do they ask it to tell then what should be their beliefs, morals and actions, nor how they should conduct transactions, what principles they should observe while dealing with enemies and friends, what the rights are of their fellow beings and of their own selves. Nor do they turn to it to find what is true and what is false, whom they should obey and whom disobey, who their friends are and who their enemies, where honour, well-being and benefit are to be found and where disgrace, failure and loss.

We Muslims have given up looking for answers to these important questions in the Qur’an. Instead, we now ask Kafirs, idolators, misguided, selfish people, even our own ego and desires—and follow what they advise. What invariably happens to those who ignore Allah and follow the precepts of other has happened to us too. We are reaping only what we have shown everywhere in the world—in Palestine, the Middle East, Pakistan, Indonesia and many other places.

The Qur’an is the source of every good: it will give whatever and as much as you ask from it. If you seek from it such trivial, frivolous and spurious things as how to scare away jinns and ghosts, how to cure coughs and fevers, how to succeed in litigation and find a job—then you may get them, but only them. If you seek supremacy on earth and the power to rule the world you may get that too. And if you wish to reach near God’s Throne (‘Arsh), the Qur’an will take you there. If you receive only a few drops from the ocean, do not blame the Qur’an, blame yourselves. For the whole ocean is there waiting for him who knows how to take it.

Incomprehensible Contradictions

The cruel jokes, brothers, which we Muslims play with the Holy Book of Allah, are so inane that if we saw someone else doing such things in any other sphere of life, we would mock them and even brand them as lunatics.

Tell me, what would you say if somebody got a doctor’s prescription and hung it round his neck after wrapping it in a piece of cloth or washed it in water and drank it? Would you not laugh at him and call him a fool? Yet this is the very treatment being given before your eyes to the matchless prescription written by the greatest of all doctors to provide a cure for all your ailments—and nobody laughs! No one even reflects that a prescription is not meant to be hung round the neck nor are its words to be washed in water and drunk.

Tell me, what would you think if some one who was ill picked up a book on medicine and began to read it, believing, thinking that this would cure him? Would you not say that he was deranged? Yet this is how we treat the Book which the supreme Healer has sent for the cure of our diseases. We think that just by flicking through all its pages, our diseases will disappear without our following the directions given in them or abstaining from the things which they pronounced harmful. Are we not in the same situation as the man who considers that reading a book on medicine will cure his illness?

If you receive a business letter in a language you do not know, you go to a man who knows the language to find out what it says. You remain anxious and restless until you have found out what the letter says, even though it will bring only some partly worldly profit. But the letter sent to you by the Lord of the worlds which can bring you all the benefits of this—world and the Eternal Life is carelessly set aside. You do not show any uneasiness at not understanding its contents. Is this you astonishing?

I am not trying to make you laugh. Reflect for a while on these facts and your hearts will tell you that the greatest possible injustice is being done to the Book of Allah. Ironically, the culprits are the very people who proclaim their faith in it and proclaim their readiness to sacrifice their lives for it. No doubt they do have faith in it and love it more than their lives, but the pity is that it is they, more than anyone else, who treat it outrageously. And the consequences of such treatment are quite plain to see.

The Consequences

Understand fully that Allah’s word does not come to bring misery, disgrace and suffering to man. ‘We have not sent down the Qur’an upon you that you be wretched’ (Ta Ha 20: 1—2). On the contrary, the Qur’an is the source of happiness and success. It is impossible for a people to possess God’s word and yet suffer disgrace and ignominy, live under subjugation, be trampled on a kicked around, and carry the yoke of slavery on their necks, being led by the nose like animals. A people meet this fate only when they do injustice to the word of God.

Look at the fate of the Israelities. They were given the Tawrah and Injil, were told:

Had they established the Torah and Gospel and what was sent down to them by their Lord, they would surely have partaken of all blessings from above them [heaven] and beneath their feet [earth] (al-Ma’idah 5: 66).

But they adopted a wrong attitude towards these Books of Allah, and reaped the consequences:

An ignominy and helplessness were laid upon them, and they were laden with the burden of God’s anger. That, because they used to disbelieve God’s messages and slay the Prophets against all right; that, because they disobeyed and were transgressors (al-Baqarah 2: 61).

If people possess Allah’s Book and still live in disgrace and subjugation, they are surely being punished for doing injustice to Allah’s word. The only way to save yourselves from Allah’s anger is to turn back from this grave sin and start trying to render. His Book its due. Until you do, your condition will never change—even if you open colleges in each and every village, all your children graduate from universities, and you amass millions through unscrupulous means.

No Islam without Submitting To the Qur’an

Brothers! Two most important things every Muslim must know to do justice to the Book of God: who is truly a Muslim and what the world ‘Muslim’ means.

Human beings who do not know what humanity is and what the difference is between man and animal will inevitably indulge in behaviour unworthy of the human race and attach no value to being human. Similarly, people who do not know the true meaning of being Muslims and how a Muslim is different from a non-Muslim will behave like non-Muslims and will not be worthy of being Muslims.

Every Muslim, adult or child, should therefore know what it means to be a Muslim, what difference being a Muslim must make to his life, what responsibilities devolve on him, and what limits are set by Islam within which a man remains a Muslim and by transgressing which he ceases to be a Muslim.

Islam means submission and obedience to God. To entrust yourselves completely to God is Islam. To relinquish all claims to absolute freedom and independence and to follow God’s will in Islam. To surrender your selves before the sovereignty of God is Islam. If you bring all the affairs of your lives under God you are Muslims and if you keep any of the affairs in your own hands or entrust them to someone other than God you are not Muslims.

To bring your affairs under God means to accept unreservedly the guidance sent by God through His Book and His Messengers. It, therefore, becomes necessary to follow only the Qur’an and Prophet’s sunnah. Muslims follow no authority other than that of God, whether it be their reason or customs. In every matter they seek guidance from God’s Book and His Messenger to find what they should do not what they should not do. They accept without hesitation whatever guidance they get from there and reject whatever they find opposed to it.

Such total surrender to God is what makes one a Muslim. By contrast, people are certainly not Muslims who, instead of following the Qur’an and the Sunnah, obey the dictates of their own reason and desires, follow the practices of their own reason and desires, follow the practices of their forefathers, accept what is happening in society, and never bother to ascertain from the Qur’an and Sunnah how to run their affairs, or refuse to accept the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah by saying: ‘They do not appeal to my reason’, or ‘They are against the ways of my forefathers’ or ‘The world is moving in an opposite direction’. Such people are liars if they call themselves Muslims.

The moment you recite the Kalimah: ‘La ilaha illa’llah Muhammadu’ r-rasulu’ llah’, you accept that the only law you recognize is the law of God, only God is your sovereign, only God is your ruler, only God you will obey, and only the things given in God’s Book and by His Messengers are true and right. It means that as soon as you become Muslims you must renounce your authority in favour of God’s authority.

Consequently, you have no right to say, ‘My opinion is this, the prevalent custom is this, the family tradition is this, that scholar and that holy person say this’. In the face of Allah’s word and His Messenger’s Sunnah, you cannot argue in this manner. You should judge everything in the light of the Qur’an and Sunnah; accept what is in conformity with them and reject what runs counter to them, irrespective of the people who may be behind them. It is a contradiction in terms to call yourselves Muslims on the one hand, and, on the other, follow your own opinions or the customs of society or some person’s words or actions as against the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Just as a blind person cannot claim to have eyes, nor a deaf person to have ears, so a person who refuses to subordinate the affairs of his life to the dictates of the Qur’an and the Sunnah cannot call himself a Muslim.

No one who does not want to be a Muslim can be compelled to be one against his will. You are free to adopt any religion you like and call yourselves by any names you like. But, once having called yourselves Muslims, you must fully understand that you can remain Muslims only as long as you stay within the bounds of Islam. These bounds are: to accept the word of God and His Messenger’s Sunnah as the ultimate criteria of truth and justice and to consider everything opposed to them as wrong. If you remain within these bounds you are Muslims, but if you overstep them you cease to be part of Islam. To continue, in such circumstances, to consider yourselves and call yourselves Muslims is tantamount to both self-deception of others. ‘Whose judges not according to what God has sent down, they are the unbelievers’ (al-Ma’idah 5: 44).

TRUE MEANING OF IMAN

Difference the Kalimah Creates

Brothers in Islam! You become Muslims by reciting a few words called the Kalimah:

La ilaha illa ‘llah Muhammadu ‘r-rasulu ‘llah

There is no god but Allah; Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.

On pronouncing these words a man is supposed to have radically changed. He was Kafir, now he is a Muslim; he was impure, now he is pure. He deserved Allah’s displeasure; now he deserves to be loved by Him. He was going into Hell; now the gates of Heaven are open for him.

On a more concrete level, in social life, this Kalimah becomes the basis for differentiating one man from another. Those who recite it constitute one nation, while those who reject it form another. If a father recites it but his son refuses to, the father is no longer the same father, nor the son the same son. The son will not inherit anything from the father, his mother and sisters may even observe purdah from him. On the other hand, if a total stranger recites the Kalimah and marries into a Muslim family, he and his children become eligible for inheritance.

The power of the Kalimah is thus so strong that it takes precedence even over blood ties; it can join strangers together into a nation; it can cut members of the same family off from each other.

Is Mere Utterance Enough?

Why should the Kalimah make such a big difference between man and man? What is so special about it? After all, it contains only a few letters like ‘L’, ‘A’, ‘I’, ‘M’, ‘R’ and ‘S’. Joined together and pronounced, do they somehow have the power to work magic so as to radically change a man? Can merely saying a few words create such an enormous difference?

Brothers! A little reasoning will immediately tell you that merely opening your mouths and uttering a few syllables can never have such an impact. Idol worshippers no doubt believe that by reciting some formula of holy words mountains can be moved, earth can be split and fountains can gush out of it, even though they do not know its meaning. This is because they ascribe supernatural powers to letters, and believe that only uttering them is necessary to make their powers work.

This is not so in Islam. The effectiveness of words lies in their meaning. If they do not penetrate deep into your hearts and have an impact powerful enough to effect a change in your thoughts, in your morals, and in your actions, then their utterance is meaningless and ineffectual.

A simple example will illustrate this point. Suppose you are shivering in cold weather and you start shouting, ‘cotton, quilt! Cotton, quilt’ The effect of cold will not be any less even if you repeat these words all night a million times on beads or a rosary. But if you prepare a quilt stuffed with cotton and cover your body with it, the cold will stop. Or suppose you feel thirsty and shout the whole day, ‘water, water’; your thirst will not be quenched. What you need to do is to get some water and take a mouthful. Or again, suppose you are suffering from cold and fever and you decide the best remedy is to chant the name of medicines used to cure these illnesses. You will not get better; but if you actually take these medicines, cold and fever will disappear, insha’allah.

This is exactly the position of the Kalimah. Mere utterance of six or seven words cannot conceivably transform a Kafir into a Muslim, or an impure person into a pure one, or a damned person into a favoured one, nor can it send a man to Paradise instead of Hell. This transformation is possible only after you have understood the meaning of these words and made it penetrate your hearts and change your lives.

So, when you recite these words, you should be conscious what an important commitment you are making to your God, with the whole world as your witness, and what a great responsibility you are taking on as a result of your commitment. Once you have made the affirmation consciously, the Kalimah must inform all your thoughts and reign supreme in your whole lives: no idea contrary to it should form part of your mental furniture. Whatever runs counter to the Kalimah alone true. After affirming this Kalimah you are not at liberty, as are the unbelievers, to do as you like. You have to follow what it prescribes and renounce what it forbids.

If you recite the Kalimah in this manner, only then can you become true Muslims, only then is created that overwhelming difference between man and man that we have just been discussing.

Meaning of the Kalimah

What, let me tell now, is the meaning of the Kalimah. What do you in fact pledge through it?

The literal meaning of the Kalimah is simple: there is no God but Allah; and Muhammad, blessings and peace be on him, is the Messenger of Allah.

Covenant with Allah

The word ‘ilah’ found in the Kalimah means God. Only that being can be our God who is the Master, Creator, Nourisher and Sustainer, who listens to our prayers and grants them, and who alone is worthy of our worship and obedience.

Saying La ilaha illa ‘llah means two things. First, you have acknowledged that the world has neither come into being without a God nor has many gods. God is there; He alone is God, and there is no other being except Him which possess divinity. Second, you have accepted that this same God is your Lord and Master as well as of the whole universe. You yourselves, and each and every thing that you have or is found in the world, belong to Him alone. He is the Creator and the Provider. Life and death are under His command. Both trouble and comfort come from Him. Whatever one receives is really given by Him; whatever is taken away is taken away by His command. He alone should be feared. From Him alone should we ask any and everything. Before Him alone should we bow our heads. He alone is worthy of worship and service. We are slaves or servants of nobody save Him, nor is anyone else our Master or Sovereign. Our duty is to obey Him abide by His laws---and His alone.

This is the covenant which you make with Allah as soon as you recite La ilaha illa ’llah, and while so doing you make the whole world your witness.

If you violate this covenant, your hands and feet, and tiniest hair on your bodies and every particle on earth and in the heavens, all that witnessed you breaking your pledge, will testify against you in God’s court. You will find yourselves in such a hopeless position that not a single witness will be found to aid you. No barrister or trial lawyers will be there to plead your case in fact barrister and trial lawyers who in the courts of this world are themselves all too often guilty of bending the law to their own ends, will themselves be standing there, like you, in the same hopeless position. That court will not acquit you on the basis of forceful pleading, false witnesses, or forged documents. You can hide your crimes from the police in this world, but not from God’s police. The police here may be bribed, but not there. A witness in this world can give false evidence, but not Allah’s witness. The judges of this world can do injustices, but God can never be unjust. And there is no escape from the jail to which Allah sends the guilty.

It is a great folly—the greatest of all follies—to enter into a false covenant with Allah. Before making the covenant, think it through thoroughly and then scrupulously adhere to it. You are under no compulsion to give a mere verbal pledge; but empty words shall not profit you.

Accepting the Prophet’s Leadership

After La ilaha illa ‘llah, you recite Muhammadu ‘r-rasulu ‘llah (Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah). This means that you accept Muhammad, blessings and peace be on him, as the man through whom Allah has sent you His guidance. If we acknowledge Allah as Master and Sovereign, it is essential to know what His will is. What deeds should we perform that would please Him and what deeds should we refrain from that would displease Him? What laws should we follow to receive His forgiveness and avoid His punishment? To explain all this to us, God appointed Muhammad, blessings and peace be on him, as His Messenger; for this very purpose through him He sent His Book.

The Prophet, blessings and peace be on him, having lived according to God’s guidance, showed us the way we should lead our lives. So, when you say Muhammadu ‘r-rasulu ‘llah, you pledge to follow the way and law given by him and to reject anything which runs counter to it. If, after making this pledge, you abandon the code of life brought by the Prophet, blessings and peace be on him, and follow different and conflicting law, however widely they may be accepted, there can hardly by any worse liars and more dishonest people than you.

For you enter Islam only by solemnly affirming that you accept the code of life brought by him as the only true law and that you will faithfully follow it. It is on the basis of this affirmation that you become brothers unto Muslims, become eligible for inheritance from your Muslim fathers; on the same basis you were married to Muslim women, your children became legitimate and you secured the right to ask Muslims to help you, to give you alms and to be responsible for the protection of your lives, property, honour and dignity. Nothing can be more dishonest if, in spite of all this, you break your pledge.

If you make the pledge of La ilaha illa ‘llah Muhammadu ‘r-rasulu ‘llah with a full understanding of its meaning. Then it is inconceivable that you will not comply with the laws of God even though no police or court forcing you to do so is visible in this world. To anybody who thinks that it is easy to break the laws of God because God’s police, army, court and jail are unseen, and that it is difficult to break earthly laws because of the undoubted presence of the police, army, court and jails of the Government, I would clearly say: Your affirmation of La ilaha illa ‘llah Muhammadu ‘r-rasulu ‘llah is simply not truthful. You are trying to deceive your God, the whole world, all Muslims, and your own selves.

Obligations of Commitment

Brothers and friends! Now that we know the meaning of this Kalimah I wish to draw your attention to the obligations that result from it.

What does it mean to say that Allah is the Master of everything? It means that your lives are not your property; they belong to God. Your hands are not yours, nor do your eyes, your ears or any limb of your bodies belong to you. The lands you plough, the animals who work for you, the wealth and goods you derive benefit from—none of these is your own. Each and every thing belongs to god, and has been given to you as a gift.

You, therefore, have no basis whatsoever to make claims like ‘life is mine, the body is mine, wealth is mine’. It is absurd to claim ownership after having accepted some other being as the real owner. If you sincerely believe that god is the Owner of all these things, then two things automatically follow.

First, since God is the real owner and you are merely trustees of things owned by Him, you must use these things strictly as He has told you, If you do otherwise, you are abusing your trusteeship; this would amount to cheating God. You have no right to move your hands and feet against His wish, nor to make your eyes see what He dislikes. You may not stomach anything contrary to His command. You possess no right over lands and properties against the wish of the Master. Your wives and children, whom you assume belong to you, are yours only because they have been given to you by your Master. Even they, therefore, must be treated not as you desire but as directed by Him. If you contravene His directions, you make yourselves usurpers. Just as you call people dishonest who seize other people’s belongings, you, too, will be dishonest if you look on the gifts of God as your own property, and utilize them according to your own wishes or according to the wishes of someone other than God.

If you suffer hardship by acting according to the wish of your Master, so be it. If lives are lost, bodies are injured, families are broken or money and property destroyed in the process, why should you be grieved? If the Owner Himself decrees loss of His things, it is perfectly within His right. Of course, if you act against the wish of the Master and suffer hardship, you will undoubtedly be guilty because you will have damaged His property. For example: you do not own your lives. If you give away your lives according to your Master’s wishes you will only be rendering His due. Giving your lives while working against Him, however, would be criminal.

Second, you do no favour to your Master nor to anyone else, if you spend something given by Him in His cause. You may give away anything, do any duty, or even sacrifice your lives—which to you are very dear—but you are not doing Him a favour. The most you have done is to have rendered His due for His favour done to you. Is this an achievement to boast about, to demand acclaim for? Should people be praised just because they have repaid a favour? Remember that a true Muslim never gets puffed up for spending something in his Master’s cause or for doing his duty to Him. On the contrary, he remains humble. Boasting and pride destroy good acts. Anyone who seeks praise, or does good work in order to earn praise, loses his right to receive any reward from God: ‘He has sought reward in this world and has already received it here’.

Our Behaviour

Brothers! Imagine the extraordinary kindness shown you by your master! He asks you for things which really belong to Him and yet promises that it is a purchase He will pay you for. What unbounded generosity this is! ‘God has brought from the believers their lives and their possessions in return for Paradise’ (al-Tawbah 9: 111).

Such is the kindness of your Master. Now look at your conduct. You re-sell things to others which were given to you by your Master and which He had bought back from you. And what a paltry price you accept for your precious things! The ‘buyers’ make you work against the wishes of the Master. You serve them as if they are your sustainers. You sell your brains and your bodies—indeed, everything that these rebels of God want to buy. Can anything be more immoral than this? To sell a thing already sold is a legal and moral crime, even in this world. Those guilty of such crimes are tried in courts for cheating and fraud. Do you think you will escape trail in the court of God?

WHY IS THE KALIMAH UNIQUE?

Brothers in Islam! Let us consider further the meaning and essential implications of the Kalimah; for it is the very foundation of Islam. Believe it and you enter Islam on its strength; understand it fully and mould your lives in accordance with it and you become true Muslims. Without it you can neither enter nor remain in Islam.

The Parable

Allah calls it Kalimah Tayyibah, a good, pure and wholesome ‘word’, and thus defines it:

Are you not aware how God sets forth the parable of kalimah tayyibah? It is like a good tree—firmly rooted, its branches reaching into heaven. It gives its fruits every moment by the permission of its Lord. So God sets forth parables unto men that they may bethink themselves. And the parable of kalimah khabithah (evil word) is like a corrupt tree—uprooted from the earth, having no permanence. God grants firmness unto those who have believed in the firm word, in the present life and in the world to come, and wrongdoers He lets go astray, for God does whatever He wills (Ibrahim 14: 24---7).

Kalimah Tayyibah is here likened to a noble tree, whose roots are firmly fixed in the earth and whose branches reach to the sky; and all the while it continues to yield abundant fruit, as commanded by its Lord. Set against it is the kalimah Khabithah, that is, an evil or corrupt word, a false belief and a baseless saying, which may be likened to a self-seeded plant growing in poor, shallow earth and easily plucked out with a single pull because its roots have no firm base.

So striking and beautiful is the parable that the more you reflect on it the more you will come to absorb the lessons that can be learnt from it.

Two Kinds of Trees

Consider examples of the two kinds of trees.

Look at an oak tree. How firmly it is rooted, to what great height it reaches, how extensively its branches spread, what fine foliage it bears! How did this tree acquire such strength and magnificence? From the nature of its fruit, the acorn. Its seed has an inherent right to become a great tree. And this right was so self-evident that when it made its claim, the earth, the water, the air, the warm day and the cool night, in fact, all the elements concerned, acknowledged it, and whatever it demanded from them was given to it.

Thus by merit it developed into a great tree; by yielding beneficial fruit and by the nobility of its dimensions it continued to demonstrate that it deserved to become a tree of mighty stature and that the help given it by the combined forces of earth and heaven was totally justified. More! It was the duty of the elements to give such help because the power that is possessed by the earth, water and air and other elements to nourish, develop and mature trees is precisely meant for the purpose of helping trees of noble species.

But what about wild, self-seeded plants? Where are their strengths and virtues? Their roots are so shallow they can be pulled up by child. They are so weak they wither away in the wind. If you touch them you may well be picked by thorns. If you taste them they may well bitter and harmful. God, only, knows how many of these sprout every day, and wither away. Why are they as they are? The reason is that they do not possess the intrinsic right to grow that the acorn does and which allows the growth of the mighty oak.

When there are no trees of noble species to grow, the earth, which by its nature cannot remain fallow, tolerates the growth of shrubs and weeds. Water does give nourishment, and some energy is supplied by the air, but none of the elements accepts the right of existence of these plants as they do of the oak. That is why neither the earth allows their roots to spread themselves within itself, nor is water willing wholeheartedly to give nourishment, nor is the air inclined to help them flourish. So when, with this poor subsistence, these plants grow unhealthy, tasting bad, often bearing thorns and poisonous fruits, it is conclusively demonstrated that earth and heaven are not crated to help the growth of such plants.

Keep these two examples before you and then think over the difference between the Kalimah Tayyibah and kalimah khabithah.

Characteristics of the Kalimah Tayyibah

Kalimah Tayyibah is a true ‘word’; so true that there cannot possibly be anything truer in the entire world; that the God of the whole universe is Allah alone. Each and every thing on earth and in heaven bears witness to this. Human beings, animals, trees, stones, particles of sand, flowing streams, the bright sun---is there a single thing out of all these which has been created by anybody but Allah, which can survive through anyone’s care and sustenance but Allah’s, which can be destroyed by anybody but Allah?

The whole universe has been created by Allah and its life and sustenance depend on His mercy; Allah alone is its Master and Ruler. So when you declare: ‘In this world godhood and sovereignty belong to none but the One God’, everything on earth and in heaven cries out: ‘You have told the truth. We all bear witness to it’. When you bow before Him, everything in the universe bows with you because all things are obedient to Him. When you obey His commandments, everything in the universe does likewise. When you walk along His path, you are walk along His path, you are not alone. In fact, the countless hosts of heaven and earth will be with you: from the sun in the sky to the smallest particle of dust, everything is following the path He has laid down. When you trust Him, you are not putting your trust in some insignificant power but in that greatest power which is the Master of the universe.

All the forces of earth and heaven, you can now understand, will support anyone who has faith in the Kalimah Tayyibah and moulds his life in accordance with it. He will grow and prosper throughout his life with it. He will grow and prosper throughout his life on earth and on into the world to come. Not for a single moment will failure or defeat touch him. This is exactly what Allah has stated in the Ayah quoted in the beginning: this Kalimah is like a tree whose roots are firmly embedded in the earth and whose branches are spread over the heavens bearing fruit perpetually, by the command of Allah.

Characteristics of the Kalimah Khabithah

In contrast to this, what does kalimah khabithah mean? Only that either there is no God or that there is someone else in addition to Him exercising Divine power. Just think! Can there be a more false and empty proposition? Is there anything in the world which lends credence to it? The atheist says there is no God, but everything on earth and in heaven denounces him as wrong: ‘Together with all of us, you have been created by God, this very God has given you the tongue with which to utter this falsehood.’ The idolator says that there are partners in His Divine powers; they too provide sustenance, they too have power over things; they too can determines our fates; they too can benefit or harm us; they too can listen to prayers and grant wishes; they too deserve to be feared and trusted; their write too runs on God’s earth and their commands and laws too should be obeyed alongside those of God. Yet everything on earth and in heaven refutes this claim as an absolute lie and totally against reality.

Now consider how a person who believes in such a false proposition and leads a life in conformity with it can ever prosper in this world and in the Hereafter. Allah has, in His mercy, allowed them freedom for a certain duration and promised them sustenance. The elements of nature will, therefore, provide nourishment to them for a while, but they will not concede it as their right. They will be like the self-seeded shrubs and weeds I have just spoken of.

Contrasting Results

The same contrast is to be found between their fruits. Kalimah Tayyibah produces sweet fruits: it establishes peace in the world. Goodness, truth and justice predominate and people benefit accordingly. But what branches can you grow from an evil root like the kalimah khabithah? The more it grows the more it shoots out thorny branches; poison runs in its very arteries. And what fruit can grow on such branches as these? Only such as are continually bitter and poisonous.

See with your own eyes what is happening in the world where Kufr, idolatry or secularism prevail: man is bent on destruction of his fellow beings. Preparations for war are constantly being made. Nuclear weapons and poisonous gases are being manufactured. Nations are set on destroying each other. The powerful subjugate the weak simply to snatch away their bread. The weak are cowed by the armies and police and threats of jail and execution. They can find no escape from the oppression of the strong.

And what of individuals? Their morals are so depraved that even satan would be ashamed. Human beings are committing acts which even animals would hesitate to do. The rich suck the blood of the poor through exploitation and usury and force the poor to work as if they were slaves born just to serve them. Human dignity and rights are being trampled upon. Abortion is rife because people do not want their physical pleasures to be interrupted. Even wife swapping is practiced.

Little wonder whenever a plant has grown anywhere from this kalimah khabithah, it is full of thorns, and whatever fruit it produces is bitter and poisonous.

After giving the two parables, Allah says:

Thus God grants firmness unto those who have believed in the firm word in the present life and in the world to come, and the wrongdoers He lets go astray (Ibrahim 14: 27).

Thus Allah will grant strength and endurance in this world and in the Hereafter to those who have faith in the Kalimah Tayyibah. Conversely, He will set at naught all the endeavours of those wrongdoers who put their faith in the kalimah khabithah. They will not do anything good which will bear fruit in this world, or the next.

Why Are Believers in the Kalimah Not Flourishing?

You have heard, brothers, the difference between the Kalimah Tayyibah and the kalimah khabithah and their results. You will now surely ask: We believe in the Kalimah Tayyibah. Then how is it that we do not flourish and why are the unbelievers prospering?

I should answer this question, and I shall. But, rather than just becoming angry at my words, look into your hearts to see if I am speaking the truth.

In the first place, your claim that you believe in the Kalimah is not true. Believing in the Kalimah does not consist in its mere utterance. It must be rooted in the heart, it must drive out any belief opposed to it, it should make any actions in contravention of it well-high impossible.

Tell me, brothers, in the name of God, is this true of you? Are not hundreds of idolatrous and polytheistic beliefs prevalent among you – ideas totally opposed to the Kalimah Tayyibah? Are not the heads of Muslims being bowed before objects other than God? Are not Muslims afraid of forces other than Him? Do they not take others as their providers? Do they not sometimes put the laws of God aside and follow other laws instead without any qualms? Do they not sometimes openly state in the courts that they do not abide by the Shari’ah but by custom and usage? Are there not people among us who do not hesitate to violate the law of God for the sake of trifling material benefit? Are there not those who dread the anger of unbelievers but not the wrath of God? And those who are ready to go to any lengths to curry the favour of Kafirs but are unwilling to do anything to secure God’s favour? And those who take the supremacy of Kafirs to be real but the rule of God as imaginary?

Tell me, for the sake of God, if all this is not fact? And if it is, what justification have you complaining that you are not prospering despite believing in the Kalimah Tayyibah? First you should become true believers in the Kalimah Tayyibah, and model your lives on the pattern it lays down. If even then your lives do not become like trees which have firm and deep roots in the earth and which spread their luxuriant branches up to sky, then (I crave Allah’s pardon) you may consider your God a liar for having made you false promises.

Are Followers of the Kalimah Khabithah Prospering?

Again, your contention that believers in the kalimah khabithah are prospering in this world is not correct. In the true sense, these people have never before prospered nor are they prospering now. You judge by their excessive wealth, their abundance of luxury goods and their outward trappings of splendour. Material prosperity is not real prosperity. Let their inner selves speak: how many of them have peace of mind? They are laden with luxury but their hearts are fiery furnaces which keep them anxious and restless. How has disobedience to the law of God turned homes into hell? How rampant is suicide in Europe and America? How widespread is divorce? How, through genocide, birth control and absorptions, is the human race being diminished? How are drugs and alcohol destroying the lives of many thousands of people? What a terrible struggle for markets and economic prosperity is raging among different nations and classes? How are jealousy, malice and enmity making men fight each other? How has the mad race for possessions made life bitter for so many people? And today’s huge and magnificent cities, which look like paradise from a distance, contain thousands and thousands of people who are wallowing in misery. Do you call this prosperity? Is this what you are seeking so enviously?

Remember, my brothers, that the word of God can never be untrue. There is no Kalimah except the Kalimah Tayyibah by following which man may achieve glory in this-world and happiness in the world-to-come. Seek as you will, you will never be able to find any fault with it.

WHY BELIEVE IN THE KALIMAH?

Brothers in Islam! Why should we believe in the Kalimah, what benefits shall accrue to us by it? Let us try to find an answer to this important question.

Whatever work we do is done with some purpose or some benefit in view. We never do anything without some objective, goal or need. Why do you drink water? Because it quenches your thirst. If you were to discover that drinking water failed to quench your thirst, you would not waste your time doing it the next time you were thirsty. Why do you eat food? Simply because you want to satisfy your hunger and keep your strength to live. If it made no difference whether you ate food or not, you would naturally feel that it was a useless activity. Why do you take medicine when you are ill? Because you want to get rid of your illness and regain your health. But you soon stop taking medicines which do not work. Why do you work so hard cultivating land? So that crops, fruits and vegetables may be produced. But if nothing grew after you had sown the seeds, you would not again exert yourselves to plough the field, to sow the seed and water the ground.

Thus, whatever work you undertake always has an end in view. If the end is achieved, you consider the work fruitful, and if not, you say it was pointless.

Success in the Hereafter

Bearing this in mind, let us now ask: Why should the Kalimah be recited? The obvious answer is : to draw a distinction between a Kafir and a Muslim. But what is the nature of this distinction? Does it mean that if a Kafir has two eyes, a Muslim will have four? Or that if a Kafir has one head, a Muslim will have two? You will say: No. It does not mean that; it means that there should be a difference between the end result of a Muslim’s life and a Kafir’s life. The end result of a Kafir’s life is failure: he will be deprived of God’s mercy in that-world, in the Hereafter, and be totally wretched; while that of a Muslim’s is success: he will win the pleasure of God and be happy and honoured there.

This-world and That-world

Your answer is correct. But now tell me: What is the nature of that-world? And, what is the meaning of being a failure in the Heareafter? What does it mean to be successful and honoured there?

We need not delay ourselves working out the answer to the first question, for it has already been given by the Prophet, blessings and peace be on him: ‘This-world is the cultivating ground of the Hereafter’.

This-world and the Hereafter are not two separate entities, but a continuous process. This process begins in this-world and ends in the Hereafter. The relationship between the two is the same as that between cultivation and crop. You plough the land, sow the seeds, irrigate and tend field till such time as the crop is ready. When you have reaped the harvest, you feed yourselves it throughout the year.

You will naturally reap whatever you have sown in the land. If nothing is sown, nothing will grow. Whatever mistakes and errors you make in the course of ploughing, sowing irrigating and tending your fields, the effect will become apparent at the time of reaping the crop. But if you have carried out all the necessary preparations properly, you will get your reward at the time of reaping.

This is exactly the position in respect of this-world and that-world. This-world is like ground to be tilled. Man has been sent into this field for the purpose of raising a crop for himself by his own efforts and hard work. He has been allotted specific time---from birth till death---to do this task. Whatever type of crop he sows will be reaped in his life beyond the grave, and that produce will be the mainstay of his life in the Hereafter.

If you have sown good seed in the field of this-world throughout your lives and have nourished it with water and careful supervision, you will find the fruits of your labours ready in the next life in the shape of beautiful gardens. You will be able to live happily on the fruits of the garden you have cultivated so assiduously throughout your earthly lives; you will not need to do any further hard work. This is Paradise, this is the success, the state of gratification in the Hereafter.

In contrast to this, if you sow thorns and grow bitter and poisonous plants during your lives on earth, you will reap a similar crop in the next life. You will not be given a second chance to grow a good crop and will have no choice but to sustain yourselves on the bad crop. You will have to lie on the bed of thorns which you have nurtured, and eat

The bitter, poisonous fruits you have grown. This is what is meant by being wretched and unsuccessful in the Hereafter.

Success in That-world

The same meaning of the Hereafter as I have described is given in the Qur’an and the Hadith. This shows that the success or failure of a man in the life after death depends on whether his knowledge and actions have been correct during his life on earth.

From the above it follows that the difference between Muslims and Kafirs in the Hereafter is determined by the difference which existed between them in the patterns of their lives on earth. Unless there is a difference between the knowledge and actions of a Muslim and Kafir in this-world there can be no difference between their ultimate states in the Hereafter. It is impossible that the knowledge and actions of a Muslim be the same as those of a Kafir without his suffering the fate that is destined for a Kafir.

True Purpose of the Kalimah

You said earlier that the purpose of reciting the Kalimah was to differentiate between the end results of a Kafir and a Muslim. Now, having discussed further the nature of the end result and of the Hereafter, we will have to rephrase your answer. Now you will have to say that the purpose of reciting the Kalimah is to set right man’s knowledge and actions here in this-world so that ultimately he attains happiness in that-world. This Kalimah teaches us to plant that garden whose fruits we will pick in the Hereafter. If we do not believe in the Kalimah how can we plant the garden and from where will we pick its fruits in the Hereafter? And if we merely utter the words of the Kalimah without it correcting our knowledge and if our actions too remain the same as if we had not uttered it.

Would you, then, not agree that it is pointless to utter the Kalimah without letting it change our thoughts and deeds? There is no reason why our fates in this case should be different from those of Kafirs. We do not put God under any obligation by merely uttering the Kalimah. If we do not learn how to plant a garden, and instead sow thorns all our lives, we cannot expect to inherit a flourishing garden with fruits in the next world. Several examples are before you to show that it is meaningless to do something if an identical outcome would result if you had done nothing. Medicine is not medicine if a patient’s condition remains the same after using it. In the same way, if a Kalimah reciter’s knowledge and actions remain the same as those of a non-reciter, such a recital is meaningless. If no difference exists between the lives of Kafirs and Muslims on earth, how can there be any difference between their lives in the Hereafter?

What Does the Kalimah Teach Us?

What, then, is the nature of the knowledge which the Kalimah Tayyibah imparts to us? And what difference takes place between the actions of a Muslim and a Kafir after acquiring this knowledge?

One: Submission to Allah. The first thing that you learn from this Kalimah is that you are slaves of Allah, and of Allah alone. Fully understand this profound truth, and you will be automatically led to the realization that, in this world, you must live according to the will be tantamount to rebellion against your Master.

Two: Obedience to the Prophet. The second thing that you learn from the Kalimah is that Muhammad, blessings and peace be on him, is the Messenger of Allah. Having learnt this, it immediately becomes self-evident that, to grow flowers and fruits in this world instead of thorns and poisonous plants, you have to plant your gardens as he has taught you. If you follow his way, you will reap a fine harvest in the Hereafter; but if you act against his way, you will grow thorns in this world and reap only thorns in the Hereafter.

Actions Must Accord With Knowledge

When you have acquired this knowledge it is essential that your actions should be in conformity with it. If you believe that you have to die one day, that after death there is another life, and that in that life you will have to sustain yourselves solely on that crop which you produced in this world before leaving it, then it is scarcely possible for you to deviate from the path shown by the Prophet, blessings and peace be on him. Why do you cultivate your fields in this world? Simply because no crops will grow unless you do and that without a crop you will die of starvation. If you have not been certain of this, if you had thought that a crop could grow without cultivation, or that you could satisfy your hunger without crops, you would never have laboured to cultivate the fields. In other words, your actions accorded with your knowledge.

Judge your position with respect to the Kalimah in like manner. You assert that you accept God as your Master and the Muhammad, blessings and peace be on him, as Gods’s Messenger. You also affirm belief in life after death. Why should, then, your actions run counter to Quranic teachings and the Prophet’s Sunnah? Such undoubtedly is the result of weak faith. If you really have faith that your fate in the Hereafter depends on your behaviour in this life, you would never risk being negligent in living as God wills you to live. Only someone who does not really believe that what he is sowing will produce thorns and that these thorns will cause him harm would do such a thing. You never pick up embers in your hand knowingly because you know that they will burn you. Only children put their hands in the fire because they do not know what will happen.




Replies:
Posted By: Suleyman
Date Posted: 09 April 2005 at 1:02pm

Let Us Be Muslim (Salah & Sawm)

Sayyid Abul A'la Maududi



Contents
Meaning and Blessing of the Prayer

What we Say in the Prayer

Blessing of the Congregational Prayer

Has the Prayer Lost its Power

Meaning and Blessing of the Fasting

True Sprit of the Fasting











1.Meaning and Blessings Of the Prayer
Brothers in Islam! The basic and most important act of worship among those which Allah has taught us to perform Salah, or the Prayer. It prepares us to worship Him in our entire lives---the purpose for which He has created us. Consider carefully why it is so important, what is its true meaning and significance.

Remembering God
The Prayer is an act of worship. We should, therefore, first recollect what worship means.Worship means revering, serving and obeying God in our whole lives. Being born as God’s servants, we can not give up serving Him at any time or under any circumstances and still remain His servant as God wanted us to be when He created us. Just as you cannot say that you are creatures of God for a particular time only, so you cannot say that you will spend only a certain amount of time in worshipping Him and be free to spend the rest as you please. You are born to worship Him. Your whole lives should, therefore, be spent in ‘Ibadha, you should not neglect it for a single moment.

It is precisely for this reason that worship does not require giving up the day-to-day world and sitting in a corner chanting God’s name. Worship means that whatever you do in the world should be in accordance with God’s guidance. Whether you sleep, are awake, eat, drink or work ---in fact, whatever activity you do---you worship Allah if these are done in obedience to Him.

When you are at home with your wives and children, brothers and sisters and relatives, behave towards them exactly as God has laid down. When you talk to your friends and amuse yourselves, remain conscious that you are servants of God. When you go out to work and have dealing with other people, keep in view God’s commandments about what behaviour is proper and legitimate and what is not.

When in the dark of night you feel you can commit a sin which nobody in the world can see, then is the time to remember that God is seeing you and it is He, and not your fellow humans, who deserves to be feared. When you find yourselves in a place where you can commit a crime without fear of the police or any witnesses, then again it is time to remember that God sees everything and refrain from doing anything from doing anything for transient gain which would displease Him. And when following the path of truth and honesty causes you material loss or otherwise puts knowledge that you are pleasing Allah by obeying Him and that your gain from Him will far outweigh any temporary, earthly loss.

Abandoning the world and sitting in secluded places counting rosary beads is, therefore, not real worship at all. Worship is to be engaged in everyday affairs and yet follow the way of God. What does remembering God (dhikr) mean? It does not mean merely the continual chanting of ‘Allah, Allah!’. The real remembrance of God consists in recalling to mind the name and will Allah when you are caught up in day-to-day worldly activities. Being engaged in pursuits which could tend to make you forget God and yet not forgetting Him is in fact remembering Him. In this life, where opportunities of huge profits lurk, you must unfailingly remember God and remain steadfast in following His law. This is the true remembrance of God. This is the kind of remembrance the Qur’an refers to thus:

Then, when the Prayer is finished, disperse on earth and seek God’s bounty; but remember God often, so that you may attain success (al-Jumu ‘ah 62: 10).

Blessings of the Prayer
Keep in mind this comprehensive meaning of ‘Ibadah and see how the Prayer helps us realize the qualities which are necessary to live in such ‘Ibadah, what blessings it confers upon us.

Constant Reminder
It is necessary, first, for us to be constantly aware that we are servants of God, that every moment of our lives must be dedicated to adoring and obeying Him.

To cultivate and keep alive this awareness is not an easy task, because there is a Satan within you whose voice constantly tells you : ‘Follow me and great benefits await you’. Similarly, there are multitudes of Satans outside you who, in various guises, keep on telling you: ‘Follow us, otherwise yhou will be in trouble. The spell cast by these Satans and their urgings cannot be overcome unless you are reminded continually that you are slaves to none but God.

This is what the Prayer does. When you get up in the morning, the Prayer reminds you of this even before you start your day. When you are busy in your work during the day, it again reminds you of this fact three times. And when you are about to go to bed, you are reminded once again. This is the first blessing of the Prayer. And this is why the Prayer is described as ‘Remembrance’ in the Qur’an [al-Ankabut 29: 45]. Its true meaning and purpose lie in remembering God.

Sense of Duty
Second, since at every step in your lives you should obey God, it is imperative that you know what is your duty and you cultivate the habit of performing it promptly. If you do not even know what your duty is, how can you ever please God and obey His orders? And, one who understands his duty but, despite his knowledge, due to indiscipline, does not care to perform it, can never be expected to remain prepared and willing to come forward and obey God, every hour or every day, as he must.

Those who have served in the army or police know how they were made to understand and carry out their duties. A bugle is blown several times during the day and night and parades are held at short notice. The purpose of this is to train people to respond and carry out orders. This routine also quickly distinguishes those who are incapable or too lazy to do so. In like manner, the Prayer summons you five times a day. On hearing it, Allah’s soldiers must quickly gather from all sides and prove that they are prepared to obey His call. Any Muslims who do not respond when they hear the Adhan show that either they do not understand the importance and meaning of their duty to God or, if they do understand it, they are so useless that they are unfit to remain in the army of Allah.

It was for this very reason that the Prophet, blessings and peace be on him, said that he felt like going and setting fire to the houses of those who did not stir after hearing the Adhan (Bukhari, Muslim).And this is why, in one Hadith, performance of the Prayer is described as a mark distinguishing Islam from Kufr (Muslim).

During the times of the Prophet and his Companions nobody was considered a Muslim unless he joined the congregational Prayer---so much so that even the hypocrites felt compelled to come. They were rebuked not for abandoning the Prayer, but for the half-hearted way in which they used to perform it: ‘And when they stand up to pray, they stand up reluctantly, only to be seen and praised by men, and not remembering God but a little’ (al-Nisa 4: 42).

You can hardly be considered true Muslims, this shows, if you do not perform the Prayers. For Islam is not a mere matter of doctrinal faith; it is a way of life to be lived in practice. Islam means surrendering to God and fighting against Kufr and evil every minute lives. Its essential message is: always remain prepared to obey God at a moment’s notice.

The Prayer, five times a day, tests again and again whether you are so prepared. Those who claim to be Muslims are tested to see whether they can put their claim into practice. If they cannot, their faith is of little value to Islam. For only they find the Prayer hard and unwelcome whose hearts are devoid of reverence to God and who are not ready to live in submission to Him. ‘And it [the Prayer], indeed, is hard save for the humble who know they shall meet their Lord’ (al Baqarah 2: 45). That they find the Prayer too difficult to perform is itself proof enough that they have no faith in God, no certainty about meeting Him, and are unwilling or unprepared to serve and obey him.

The sense of duty to God and being ever-prepared to obey Him is the second blessing that the Prayer confers upon you.

God-consciousness
Third, consciousness of God---being in His presence, His love and His fear, strength to avoid whatever may displease Him---needs to be kept alive constantly in our hearts. You cannot practice Islam unless you believe that God is seeing you all the time and everywhere, that God sees you even in darkness, and that God is with you even when you are alone. It is possible to hide from the world but not from God, to escape from the punishments of the world, but not from His punishments. It is this awareness, this feeling, this belief, which restrains man from disobeying God and which motivates him to observe all the limits Allah has laid down for his life. Without this awareness you cannot live like a true Muslim lives. Allah has enjoined upon you praying five times a day precisely to help strengthen this awareness in the hearts of the faithful. He has Himself thus described this blessing: ‘Surely the Prayer restrains from all that is shameful and wrong’ (al-‘Ankabut 29: 45).

This awareness becomes deeply embedded in you through the Prayer. For instance, you may perform the Prayer only when you are clean and have done the ablution (wudu’). But who is to know if you have not washed, or if your clothes are unclean, or if you are just pretending to have done wudu’? No one. But you never do such a thing because you are sure that your actions will not be hidden from God. Similarly, no one will know if you do not in fact recite at all those parts of the Prayer which are supposed to be said in a low voice. But you do not ‘cheat’ in this way. Why? Because you believe that God hears everything; He is closer to you than your jugular vein. And, you perform the Prayer even when you are alone---although there would be nobody to know that you had not performed it---because you fully realize that it is impossible to hide any crime from Him.

That is how the Prayer evokes and sustains in the heart of man fear of God and the belief that he lives in His presence. How can you worship and serve God and remain loyal to Him throughout the twenty-four hours of the day and night unless this fear and this awareness are revived continuously in your hearts? Devoid of this feeling, how can you embrace goodness and avoid evil in your daily lives for the sake of God alone?

Making you ever-conscious of God is the third blessing of the Prayer.

Knowledge of God’s Law
Fourth, to worship God you must know what His law is; without knowing it you clearly cannot follow it. Prayer is the instrument through which this knowledge is fostered. The parts of the Qur’an that are recited in the Prayer are intended to teach you the law of God. The Friday congregation and the sermon (Khutubah ) are also designed to provide you with opportunities to learn Islamic teachings. It is your own fault if you do not take the trouble to find out the meaning of what you are reading in the Prayer. It is no use complaining that you do not understand if you have not bothered to try. On the other hand, it is unfortunate that Friday sermons are delivered in a manner which does little to impart the knowledge of Islam.

Collective Life
It is necessary, fifth, that no Muslim should be left alone and on his own in the tumult of life, while worshipping God. Muslims should come together to form strong communities to help each other in their life mission: serving God, obeying Him, observing His law and promulgating it in the world.

Those who are faithful to God and those who reject Him are always arrayed against each other; the struggle between ‘surrender’ and ‘rebellion’ is never ending. The rebels break the laws of God and enforce in their place satanic laws. Individually, Muslims cannot effectively resist this process, and it is, therefore, necessary for the true servants of God to join forces. The Prayer is central to the establishment of this collective strength. Congregational Prayer five times a day, the Friday congregation, the congregation of two ‘Id festivals---all these together make you like a strong wall and create in you that singleness of purpose, cohesiveness and real unity, which are necessary to make you helpers of each other in the cause of Allah in your day-to-day lives.That the Prayer generates and consolidates the social cohesiveness in the Ummah is its fifth blessing.

Brothers in Islam! The Prayer prepares us for ‘Ibadah, for serving and obeying God. Even if you do not understand the full purport of the words you recite, it helps keep alive in your hearts the fear of God and the awareness that He is with you everywhere and He is watching over you; it helps remind you, too, that one day you, along with all mankind, will have to appear before God to give an account of your lives. The Prayer keeps ever-fresh the conscious-ness that you are the slaves of God, and of God only, and that is only to God that obedience and worship are due.

It goes without saying that this faith is all the deeper when you fully appreciate the meaning of the words you are reciting in the Prayer. Then, the power or Prayer is capable of reshaping your entire lives---in thoughts, in words and in deeds.

It is, therefore, important to know the meaning of what you say in your Prayers.

What we Say In the Prayer
Adhan and its Effects

First take the Adhan, by which you are summoned five times a day in the following words:
Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar
Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest.
Ashhadu an la ilaha illa ‘llah
I bear witness that there is no god but Allah.
Ashhadu anna Muhammadu ‘r-rasulu ‘llah
I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messanger of Allah.
Hayya ‘ala ‘s-salah
Come to the Prayer.
Hayya ‘ala ‘l-falah
Come to the well-being.
Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar
Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest.
La ilaha illa llah
There is no god but Allah.

How powerful the Call and how beautiful the words! And how they constantly and powerfully remind us of how bogus are the claims to greatness made by other beings. On earth and in the heavens there is only one Being who is worthy of worship. In His worship alone lies our well-being in this world and in the Hereafter. Who can fail to be moved on hearing this voice? How can anyone who has faith in his heart hear so powerful a call without wanting to rush and bow his head before his Master?

Wudu: Ablution
On hearing the call of Adhan you get up, go and wash yourselves. What does this show? It makes you realize that having an audience with the Lord of all the worlds is very different from everything else you do. Unless you are clean, your clothes are clean, you performed wudu’, you are not worthy of entering His presence. Then, in the course of Wudu’, while washing your limbs, you constantly remember Allah. After finishing it you recite the prayer taught by the Messenger of Allah, blessings and peace be on him. Thus not only your limbs but your hearts are washed clean. Look at the words of this prayer:

Ashhadu an al ilaha illa ‘llagh wahdahu la sharika lah,
wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhu wa rasuluh
I bear witness that there is no god but Allah; He alone is God,None is His partner.
I bear witness that Muhammad is God’s Slave and Messenger.
Allahumma ‘j’ alni mina ‘t-tawwabina wa ‘j’alni mina ‘l-Mutatahhirin
O God! Make me among those who repent and keep themselves Pure.

Niyya: Intention
After this, you stand up for Salah up for Salah. Your faces are directed towards you utter are:
Allahu akbar
Allah is the Greatest.

Proclaiming His sovereignty over everything, you raise your hands to your ears as if you have renounced the world and whatever is in it. You, then, fold your hands; now you are standing reverently before your Lord. Next you make the following submissions.



Tasbih: Glorification
You glorify and praise Allah thus:
Subhanaka ‘llahumma wa bihamdika wa tabaraka ‘smuka wa ta’ala
Jadduka wa la ilala ghayruk
Glory be to Thee, O God, and all the praise that is Thine. Blessed is Thy
Name and exalted is Thy majesty. There is no god but Thee.

Ta’awwudh: Seeking Refuge
You now seek His protection:
A ‘udhu bi ‘llahi mia ‘sh-shaytani ‘r-rajim
I seek refuge in God from Satan, the rejected.

Bismillah: In His Name
You then seek His blessing and help by invoking His name:
Bismi ‘llahi ‘r-Rahmani ‘r-Rahim
I begin in the name of God who is Most Merciful, the Mercy-giving.

Hamd: Praise and Thanks
You praise Him, thank Him, and seek from Him the guidance for your lives. This is what we do in Surah al-Fatihah, the opining Surah in the Qur’an:

Al-hamdu li ‘llahi Rabbi ‘l-alamin
Priase be to God, Lord of the worlds.
Ar-Rahmani ‘r-Rahim
The Most-merciful, the Mercy-giving.
Maliki yawmi ‘d-din
Master of Day of Judgment.
Iyyaka na’budu wa iyyaka nasta’in
Thee alone do we worship and from Thee alone we seek help.
Ihdina’s-sirata ‘l-mustaqim
Direct us on the straight path.
Sirata ‘l-ladhina an’amta ‘alayhim
The path of those whom Thou hast favoured.
Ghayri ‘l-maghdubi ‘alayhim wa la ‘d-dallin
Not those who earn Thy anger nor those who go astray.
Amin!
O God! Let if be so. O Lord! Grant this our prayer.

The Qur’an Reading
Then you recite some parts of the Qur’an, each of which is full of wisdom and beauty. There are instruction, admonitions and lessons as well as directions to guide you on the same straight path for which you have just prayed in Surah
Al-Fatihah. Let us look at the meanings of some of those which you often recite in your Prayers.

Surah al-‘Asr (103)
Wa ‘l-‘asr, inna ‘l-insana la fi khusr
By the fleeing time! Surely man is in [a state of] loss.
Illa ‘l-ladhina amanu wa ‘amilu ‘s-salihat
Except those who believe and do good works.
Wa tawasaw bi ‘l-haqqi wa tawasaw bi ‘s-sabr
And enjoin upon one another to keep to Truth and enjoin
Upon one another to be steadfast.

This Surah teaches us that the only way for man to be saved from loss, failure and destruction is to attain to faith and do good works. Additionally, the faithful must form a group wherein they strive together and help each other in remaining steadfast in the cause of Truth.

Surah al-Ma’un (107)
Ara’ayata ‘l-ladhi yukadhdhibu bi ‘d-din
Have you seen him who gives the lie to Judgement.
Fa dhalika ‘l-ladhi yadu’u ‘l-yatim
That is he who pushes away the orphan.
Wa la yahuddu ‘ala ta’ami ‘l-miskin
And urges not to feed the needy.
Fa waylul li ‘l-musallina ‘l-ladhina hum ‘an salatikhim sahum,
Alladhina hum yura’una wa yamna’una ‘l-ma’un
Woe, them, unto those praying ones who are unmindful of their Prayer, those who want to be seen, and refuse [even] small kindnesses.This Surah teaches us that without faith in the Hereafter, which is the basis of Islam, we can never walk on the path of God and fulfil our duties towards our fellow human beings. Also, a faith which does not lead to responsible and kindly sharing with others is no real faith.

Surah al-humazah (104)
Waylul li kulli humuzati-ni l-lumazah
Woe unto every slanderer, fault-finder!
A ‘l-ladhi jama’a malan wa ‘addadah
To him who amasses wealth and counts it over
Yahsabu anna malaha akhladah
Thinking that his wealth will make him live forever!
Kalla la yunbadhanna fi ‘l-hutamah
Nay, but he shall surely be thrown into the Crusher;
Wa ma adraka ma ‘l-hutamah
And what could convey to you what the Crusher is?
Naru ‘llahi ‘l-muqadata ‘l-lati tattali’u ‘ala ‘l-af’idah
The kindled fire of God, which roars over the hearts
Innaha alayhim musadatun, fi ‘amadin mumaddadah
Surely, it closes in upon them in endless columns.
This Surah, again, instructs us in important social attitudes. It castigates those who engage in slandering others, spreading false reports. Love of worldly wealth is what leads us to treat others with contempt. But that wealth we will have to leave behind, only to see it again as a fire raging in our hearts.
In short, whichever Surahs or Ayahs of the Qur’an you recite in the Prayer they impart some kind of instruction or guidance and point out to you those commandments of God which you should follow.

Ruku’: Bowing Down
After reciting these instructions you say Allahu akbar and perform ruku’. Bending down before your Master with your hands resting on your knees, you repeat (either three or five or seven times):
Subhana Rabbiya ‘l-‘azim
Glory be to my Lord, the Magnificent
Then you stand up straight and say:
Sami’a llahu li man hamidah
Allah listens to him who praises Him

Sujud: Prostration
Then, again saying Allahu akbar, you prostrate yourselves with forehead on the ground, and repeatedly utter:
Subhana Rabbiya ‘l-a ‘la
Glory to my Lord, the Most High.

At-tahiyyat: Salutation.
Then you raise your hands, saying allahu akbar, sit reverently and say:

At-tahiyyati li ‘llahi wa ‘s-slawatu wa ‘t-tayyibat
To God belong all greetings of praise, all prayers, all good deeds.
As-salamu ‘alyka ayyuha ‘n-nabiyyu wa rahmatu ‘llahi wa barakatuh
Peace be on you, O Prophet, and mercy of God and His blessing.
As-salamu ‘alayna wa ‘ala ‘ibadi ‘llahi ‘s-salihin
Peace be on us and on all true servants of God.
Ashhadu an la ilaha illa llah wa ashhadu anna
Muhammadan ‘abduhu wa rasuluh

I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and His Messenger.While giving this testimony you raise you first finger: this symbolize the renewal of your pledge and commitment to the life of witness that you are required to live. While uttering it you must give special attention and emphasis to it.

Salat ‘ala ‘n-nabiy: Blessings Upon the Prophet
After this you call down blessings upon the Prophet Muhammad, blessings and peace be on him:

Allahumma salli ‘ala Muhammadin wa ‘ala ali muhammadin kama sallayta ‘ala Ibrahima wa ‘ala ali Ibrahim, innaka hamidun majid.

Allahumma barik ‘ala Muhammadin wa ‘ala ali Muhammadin kama
Barakta ‘ala Ibrahima wa ‘ala ali Ibrahim, innaka hamidun majid

O God! Have mercy of Muhammad and his people just as Thou blessed Ibrahim and his people. Indeed Thou art adorned with the best qualities and art sublime. O God! Bless Muhammad and his people. Most certainly Thou are adorned with the best qualities and art sublime.

Seeking Protection
The whole Salah is an act of prayer, but towards the end you make a special prayer seeking His protection from all kinds of evils that might afflict you.

Allahumma inna a’udhu bika min ‘adhabi jahannam, wa a’udhu bika min ‘adhubi ‘lqabr, wa a’udhu bika min fitnati ‘l-masihi ‘d-dajjal, wa a’udhu bika min fitnati ‘l-mahya wa ‘l-mamat, wa a’udhu bika min ‘l-ma’thimi wa ‘l-maghrim

God! I seek Your protection from punishment in Hell, and I seek your protection from punishment in the grave, and I seek Your protection from the mischief of al-masihi ‘d-dajjal, and I seek Your protection from the trials of life and death, and I seek Your protection from sins and from indebtedness.

Salam: Greetings
After reciting the above Du’a’, the Prayer is complete. Now you have to return from the audience with your Master. How do you do this? The first thing you do on your return is to turn your heads to the right and to the left and pray for the safety and blessings of all those present and everything in the world:

As-salamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatu ‘llah
Peace be on you and the mercy of God.

This symbolizes good tidings that you have brought for the world on your return from the presence before God.

The above is the Salah which you offer at dawn before you start work. At noon you present yourselves again. In the afternoon you offer the same Salah again and repeat it immediately after sunset. Finally, before going to bed, you present yourselves for the last time before your Master.

Du’a’ Qunut
The concluding part of this Salah consists of witr. In the lask rak’ah of the day, which turns all the rak’ahs you have prayed into an odd number, you make an important and comprehensive covenant with your Master. This is called Du ‘a’ qunut. The meaning of qunut is affirmation of humility, subservience and service before God. Listen carefully to the words with which you make your pledge:

Allahumma inna nasta inuka wa nastaghfiruka wa nu’minu bika wa natawakkalu ‘alayka wa nuthni ‘alayka ‘l-khayr kullahu wa nashkuruka wa la nakfuruka wa nakhla’u wa natruku man yafjuruk

O God! We seek help from Thee; we ask Thee for guidance; we seek Thine forgiveness; we have faith in Thee; we put our trust in Thee; we give all good prises to Thee; we thank Thee, and do not commit ungratefulness; we abandon and leave everyone who disobeys Thee.

Allahumma iyyaka na’budu wa laka nusalli wa nasjudu wa ilayka nas’a wa nahfid, wa narju rahmataka wa nakhsha ‘adhabaka inna ‘adhabaka bi ‘l-kuffari mulhiq

O God! Thee only do we worship. For Thee alone we perform the Prayer and before Thee alone prostrate ourselves. All our endeavours and strivings are directed towards Thee, all our goals are centred on Thee. We hope to receive Thy mercy and fear Thy punishment. Certainly Thy dire punishment will befall only those who are disbelievers.

Character-building
Brothers! The call of the Adhan summons you five times a day to the presence of the Lord of the universe; five times a day you put everything aside to rush to Him; before every Prayer you purify your bodies and souls with wudu’; and you are fully aware of the meaning of the things you are saying during the Prayer. In such circumstances is it not inevitable that the fear of God will arise in your hearts, that you will feel ashamed to break God’s commandments, that your wins will weigh heavily on your consciences? How, then, when you return to your work after the Prayer, can you justify telling or giving bribes, payingor levying interest, and committing indecent or illegal acts? And how, after doing any of these things, can you possibly go back to God at the next Prayer and seriously reaffirm your obedience to Him? Seriously say, thirty-six times a day, ‘Thee alone we worship, Thee alone we ask for help’, and afterwards ask favour of others in worship?

Properly understood and performed, Salah must improve your morals and, where necessary, fundamentally change your lives. This is why Allah emphasizes: ‘Surely Prayer restrains [man] from all that is shameful and wrong’. If it does not, the reason lies in you, not in the Prayer. It is not the fault of soap and water that coal is black.

Perhaps one great obstacle to Prayer doing its purifying work is that you may not fully understand or give serious attention to the words you recite in Arabic. A little extra effort in learning by heart these recitations in our own language may bring you rich reward.

3.Blessings of the Congregational Prayer

























Brothers in Islam! That the Prayer as such has extraordinary power to make us attain to greater and greater heights of obedience and worship is quite obvious. Consider now how much more enriched it becomes, how greatly its efficacy increases in transforming us, when the Prayer is performed in congregation. Indeed in this one single act of Prayer God has given us His choicest gift.

But, first, recollect what worship is and how the Prayer prepares us for it. Worship means making yourselves slaves of God, living in submission to His will, and remaining always ready to obey Him. The qualities that enable you to attain to this state of worship are all developed by the Prayer. These are: consciousness of being a salve to God; faith in God, in His Messenger and in His Book; belief in the life to come; fear of God; awareness that God knows everything and is always close to you; strength of will and preparedness to obey Him; and knowledge of His commandments.

Private Worship of God
Further reflection will show you that an individual, however perfect he may be, cannot worship God as is His due unless other servants of God join him. You cannot obey all the injunctions of God until all those people with whom you have to live day by day, and with who you have to deal continually, become your partners in this worship. Man is not alone in this world: his whole life is bound in a thousand and one relationships with his family members, business associates, friends, neighbours and acquaintances. Worship equally encompasses all these people unite in living by the will of God, all of them can succeed in becoming His faithful servants. But if they are, collectively, bent on disobendience or if they do not support each other in following the commands of God, then will it not be virtually impossible for a lone individual to submit his whole life to the law of God?

Careful reading of the Qur’an shows that God does not desire that simply you, as lone individuals, should become loyal and obediently to Him. This is not enough. You should strive to bring the whole world under God, to spread His word, and implement His laws. Whatever the rule of Satan prevails, you must try to root it out. Let God alone, and no one else, be the Sovereign in man’s life.

This enormous duty entrusted by Allah cannot be performed by one Muslim alone; nor can hundreds of thousands of Muslims, if they remain individuals, be effective against the forces of the servants of Satan. You must, therefore, work together, single-mindedly, but not singly, to fulfil your noble mission.
This entails not merely that you become united, but that you become one, knit together. Your mutual relations should be established on a harmonious basis, without strife and discord. You should obey your leaders and fully understand the limitation of such obedience: where to obey and where to disobey.

See how the congregational Prayer develops all these necessary qualities.

Assembling on One Call
First, as the Adhan summons you to the Prayer, you put everything aside and go to the mosque. The mobilization of Muslims from all sides on hearing this call and their gathering at one centre creates in them a sense of discipline as is found in an ‘army’. The sound of a ‘bugle’ tells ‘soldiers’ that their ‘commander’ is calling them; their immediate thought is to obey the call and assemble at a previously agreed place. And so they do. The army adopts such a system to ingrain in every soldier the habit of obedience, both at individual and groups levels, and to weld them into a cohesive team. Thus if they ever face armed combat it will be as a unit with identical objectives. If soldiers, however good they may be individually at fighting, however well trained and brave, fight with each fighting his own battle, a platoon of fifty soldiers of the enemy can defeat one thousand such brave soldiers by picking them off individually.

For exactly the same reason, you are required to assemble for the Prayer five times a day on hearing the call of the Adan, leaving behind everything. But, the resemblance ends here. Beyond this, you, as Muslims, are the army of God and the duty of this army is much harder and radically different than that of any other army in the world. For other armies, wars are fought on one front at a time, and for selfish ends. But the army of God has to wage perpetual war, and that too, against the forces of Satan, within their selves and in the world at large. Gathering five times a day at the sound of the Divine ‘bugle’ is a sign of its constant readiness for this continuing battle. In view of the gigantic task they face, this strict discipline should look easy.

Purposeful Assembly
Gathering in the mosque, then, itself yields many benefits: here you meet each other, come to recogmnize each other, and come to know each other. And what makes you come close to one another? You come together as slaves of God, followers of one Prophet, believers in one Book, with a single objective inlife, both inside and outside the mosque. Such acquaintance, such unity, and such attachment automatically leaven and quicken in you the feeling that you are all one community, soldiers of the same army, brothers unto each other. Your interests, your aims, your losses and gains, are the same; and your lives are bound in with one another.

Fellowship
Again, you see and meet each other not like enemies or strangers, but like friends and brothers. As such, when you notice that one brother is in ragged clothes, another seems unhappy, another does not have enough to eat, while others are disabled, crippled or blind, then inevitably compassion is aroused in your hearts. Those of you who are well-off will help the poor and needy; the afflicted will find the courage to approach the rich; you will visit those who, for some reason, cannot get to the mosque; and if one of our brothers dies you will also join in his funeral prayer and share the grief of the bereaved family. All these things strengthen the spirit of mutual affection and make you mutual helpers.

The Sacred Purpose
Think further: you have gathered at a sacred place for a sacred purpose. This is not an assembly of thieves, drunkards, gamblers, or exploiters, but a gathering of slaves of Allah’s house. In such a setting, a sincere person would, automatically, feel ashamed of his sins. But his shame would be overwhelming. And he would particularly want to repent if any of those who ever affected by his sin or who witnessed it were gathered with him. Indeed, the blessings of congregational Prayer will multiply manifold if you also know how to counsel each other and help each other in correcting yourselves, with sympathy, love and understanding. Individual deficiencies will then easily be removed and the whole community will quickly grow together in virtue and piety.

Brotherhood
This is how merely getting together to pray benefits you, But there are many more blessings in the way the congregational Prayers are performed.

You stand in a row shoulder to shoulder with each other. No one is higher or lower in status than his neighbour. In the Divine court, in the presence of

God, you all belong to one class, you all have the same status. Nobody feels polluted if a fellow-worshipper’s hand or body touches him. We are all equally pure because we are all human beings. We are all slaves of one God and believers in one Din.

All ethnic and linguistic prejudices are also destroyed. Although there are differences among Muslims of family, tribe and country---someone is Sayyid, someone is Pathan, someone is Rajput, someone is Jat, someone belongs to one country and someone to another, some speak one language and some another---yet all stand in one row, worshipping the One God. This signifies that you all are one people, belong to one nation. Divisions on family, tribal or national lines have no basis whatever. What binds you together is that you all serve and worship God. When you are one in the Prayer, why should you be divided about other things?

Uniformity in Movements
Again, when you stand shoulder to shoulder with each other, you look like an army presenting itself for service before its monarch. By standing in a line and by making movements in unison, a remarkable spirit of unity develops in your minds. You are made to do this practice, to become one in the service of God, in such a manner that all of you raise your hands together and move your feet together as if you are not ten, twenty, one hundred or one thousand people, but have become one person.

Uniformity in Prayers
What do you do after thus standing together in one line? With one voice you submit to your Master:

Iyyaka na’budu wa iyyaka nasta’in
Thee alone do we worship; Thee alone do we ask for help.

Ihdina ‘s-srata ‘l-mustaqim
Guide us to the straight path.

Also:
Rabbana laka ‘l hamd

Our God! All praise is for Thee only.
And:
As-salamu ‘alayna wa ‘ala ‘ibadi ‘llahi ‘s-salihin
Peace be on us and on all true servants of Gods.
Then, as you finish the Prayers, you pray thus for peace, mercy and grace upon each other:

As-salamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatu ‘allah
Peace be on you all, and the mercy of God.

This means that all of us wish each other well. Everyone unites to pray to one Master for the well being of all. None of us asks for everything for himself only. Everybody’s wish is that God’s benevolence be bestowed on all, that all be granted the ability to walk on the one straight path and that all share together the blessings of God. In this way the Prayer unites your hearts, creates harmony in your thoughts and develops among you a relationship of well-wishing towards each other.

Leadership
Now remember that we never offer the congregational Prayer without an Imam who leads the congregation. Even when two men pray together, one of them will be Imam and the other follower. Once the congregation (Jama ‘ah) has been formed, it is strictly prohibited to perform the Prayer outside it. If you do, your Prayer will be invalid. Latecomers must join the congregation behind the same Imam.

All these teachings are not meant for the Prayer only. In fact, they impart a very important lesson: if you want to live as Muslims, live as you pray: united and organized, to secede from it means that your lives have ceased to be the lives of Muslims.

Nature and Qualities of Leadership
A Muslim’s entire life is a life of prayer; the entire earth, for him, is a ‘mosque’ where only one God is to be worshipped. The relation between the Imam and his followers within the congregational Prayer has, therefore, been designed to teach us important lessons about leadership: how you should relate to your leaders outside the mosque, what their duties and their rights are; how you should obey them, and in what matters; what you should do if they make mistakes; to what extent you are obliged to follow them when they go wrong; on what occasions you have the right and duty to point out their errors; when you can demand that they correct their mistakes; and, at what juncture you can remove them from leadership. How to fashion your organized and communal living is something you can learn about five times a day in any small mosque.

Consider only a few obvious and important principles regarding an Imam and the guidance they provide us in our macro-life.

Piety and Virtue
One: An Imam must be the best in character, piety and righteousness. He must have greater knowledge of Islam, especially of the Qur’an, then others. He should be of mature years. The Prophet, blessings and peace be on him, has also explained other. This tells you, too, which attributes you should keep in view when choosing a leader for a community or state.

Majority Representation
Two: An Imam should be liked and respected by the majority of the congregation; none should lead the Prayer against their wishes. Here again is an important principle for electing a leader.

Sympathy and Compassion
Three: An Imam should lead the congregation in Prayer in such a way that no trouble is caused even to the old in the congregation. He should not make lengthy recitations nor make long ruku’ and sujud, which may suit only the young, strong and healthy and those with plenty of leisure time. He should take note also of those who are old, sick and weak and those who are busy in their work. The Prophet, blessings and peace be on him, set an example of such kindness and compassion and love: if he heard children crying while he was leading the congregation in Prayer, he used to shorten it so that their mothers, if they were behind him, could leave quickly (Bukhari, Muslim).

Vacating Office
Four: If an Imam meets with an accident while leading the Prayer, he must immediately hand over his office to one of the men behind. This means that it is obligatory on a nation’s leader too to resign when he feels unable to carry out his functions. In this there is no shame, nor should selfishness prevent him from doing so.

Obedience to Leaders
Five; The actions of an Imam should be strictly followed. To make a move before he moves is strictly prohibited, so much so that, according to one Hadith, Imam does will be raised after death as an ass (Bukhari, Muslim). Here citizens of a nation have been given a lesson on how they should obey those who govern them.

Criticizing and Correcting Mistakes
Six: An Imam may make a mistake in Salah. For example, he may rise when he should sit, or sit when he should rise. Such errors must be pointed out to him with the phrase, ‘Subhanallah’ (Glory be to Allah). To say Subhaanallah when the Imam commits a mistake means: Allah alone is pure, holy and above error; as you are a human being it is not surprising that you have made a mistake, but correct yourself. Thus warned, it is incumbent on the Imam to correct his mistake without any hesitation or discomfort, without any feeling of loss of prestige.

If, after this notice of correction, the Imam feels confident that what he did was right he can continue as he thinks fit, and in such an eventuality the duty of the congregation is to follow him in spite of knowing that he is wrong. After finishing the Salah the followers have the right to try to convince the Imam of his mistake and to demand from him that he conduct the Salah afresh.

No Obedience in Sin
Seven: This procedure is limited to situations which involve minor mistakes. But if the Imam, contrary to the Prophet’s Sunnah, changes the method of the Salah, or knowingly recites the Qur’an incorrectly in the Salah, or, while conducting it, indulges in act of Kufr or Shirk, or commits a clear sin, it is incumbent on the member of the jama’ah immediately to break away from the congregation and discontinue the Salah.

In all the above seven points concerning the congregational Prayer, striking parallels can be drawn between the relationship of an Imam and his followers and a head of state and the citizens of that state.

4.Has the Prayer Lost its Power?













Brothers in Islam! Undoubtedly you often ask yourselves: Why is it that the Prayer, good and beneficial as it is, seems to make no difference to our lives? Why does it neither improve our morals, nor transform us into a force dedicated to Allah? Why do we continue to live disgraced and subjugated?

The usual answer will be that you are not offering the Prayer regularly or in the manner prescribed by Allah and the Messenger. Such an answer may not satisfy you. I shall, therefore, try to explain the matter in some detail.

Parable of the Clock
Look at the clock fixed to the wall: there are lots of small parts in it, joined to each other. When you wind it, all the parts start working and, as these parts move, the results appear on the clock face outside it which you observe. Both hands move to denote each second and each minute. The purpose of the clock is to indicate correct time. All those parts which are necessary for this purpose have been made so that each of them moves as required. Only when all the parts have been assembled correctly and the clock wound up properly will it begin fulfilling the purpose for which it is made.

If you do not wind it, it will not show the time. If you wind it but not according to the prescribed method, it will stop or, even if it works, it will not give the correct time. If you remove some of the parts and then wind it, nothing will happen. If you replace some of the parts with those of a sewing machine and then wind it, it will neither indicate the time nor sew the cloth. If you keep all the parts inside the case but disconnect them, then no part will move even after winding it up. The presence of all the parts will not serve the purpose for which the clock is made because you will have disrupted their arrangement as well as their connection.

In all these situations, both the existence of the clock and the act of winding it become useless, although an observe from a distance cannot say that it is not a clock or that you are not winding it. He will surely consider that it is a clock and will expect it to be useful as a clock. Similarly, when from a distance he observes you winding it, he will take it as a genuine effort on your part to do the job, hoping to notice the result which come from winding the clock. But how can this expectation be fulfilled when what looks like a clock from a distance has in reality lost is ‘existence’?

Aim of Muslim Ummah
Imagine Islam like this clock. Just as the purpose of the clock is to indicate the correct time, so the aim of Islam is that you should live in this world as the vicegerents of God, as witnesses of God unto mankind and as standard-bearers of truth. You must yourselves follow the commandments of God and bring all other people under Him:

You are indeed the best community brought forth for mankind: you enjoin the doing of right and forbid the doing of wrong, and you believe in God

(Al ‘Imram 3: 110).

And thus We have made you a just community, that you might be witnesses unto mankind (al-Baqarah 2: 143).

God has promised those of you who believe and do righteous deds that He will surely make you to accede to power on earth (al-Nur 24: 55).

And fight them, until there is no rebellion [against God], and all lsubmission is to God alone (al-Anfal 8: 39).

Wholeness of Islamic Teachings
To fulfil this purpose, various parts as were required, like those of the clock, have been brought together in Islam. Beliefs and principles of morality; rules for day-to-day conduct; the rights of God, of His slaves, of one’s own self, of everything in the world which you encounter; rules for earning and spending money; laws of war and peace; principals of government and limits of obedience to it---all these are parts of Islam. As in a clock, they are linked to each other in such a way that as soon as the winding is done, every part starts moving and, with the movement of all these parts, the desired result is obtained. Rule of God’s ;aw in the world, domination of Islam, start manifesting just as, with the movement of the parts of the clock in front of you, the time appears on its face.

In order to fasten together different parts of the clock, screws and small pieces of metal have been used.

Similarly, to join all the parts of Islam together, there is an arrangement called the Jama ‘ah or organization. Muslims should organize themselves, and have leaders equipped with proper knowledge and endowed with taqwa; the brains should help them and the limbs should obey them, as they all strive to live under God.

When all the parts have been brought together and property assembled, regular winding is necessary to set them in motion and to continue their movement: Salah which is offered five times a day provides that winding, creating the energy which sets an Islamic life in motion. Cleaning this clock is also necessary: fasting observed for thirty days a year cleanes hearts and morals. Lubrication, too, is required: Zakah is like the oil which is applied to its parts once a year. Then it is also necessary to overhaul it periodically: Hajj is that overhauling which should be performed at least once in a lifetime. And the more often it is done, the better.

Abusing the Clock
The processes of winding, cleaning, lubricating and overhauling are of use only when all the parts are present in the frame, when they are linked in the order designed by the clock-maker, and when all are so trained that immediately on winding they start moving and begin showing results.
Alas, today the situation has become very different. For a start, the very Jama ‘ah, the organizational structure, which was supposed to link the parts of the clock together has ceased to exist. The result is that all the fittings have come apart, each has gone its own way. Everybody does whatever takes his fancy. There is nobody to question anything. Everyone is autonomous. If someone wants to follow the Islamic code, he can; if he does not want to, he need not.

Since even this so-called freedom has not satisfied you, you have pulled out many parts of the clock and in their place put anything and everything: a spare part from a sewing machine, perhaps, or from a factory or from the engine of a car. You call yourselves Muslims, yet you render loyal service to Kufr, yet you take interest, you insure your lives, you file false law suits, your daughters, sisters and wives are forsaking Islamic manners and your children are being given secular materialistic educations. Some have become disciples of Gandhi; others are following Lenin. Which un-Islamic gadget is there that you have not fixed into the frame of the clock of Islam?

Despite this, you expect the clock to work when you wind it! And you suppose that cleaning, lubricating and overhauling it will also be of use. With a little reflection, however, you should see that in the condition to which you have reduced the clock you can wind it, lubricate it, and overhaul it, for the whole of your lives without any effect. Nothing will happen until you remove the parts brought in from other applicnaces, replace them with the original parts, and restore the original priorities. Then, and only then, will the winding and so forth produce any results.

Why Worship Rites Are Ineffective
This state of affairs is the real reason why your Salah, Sawn, Zakah and Hajj make no impact upon your lives. First, there are so few among you who perform these acts of worship. Due to the dissolution of Islamic Jama ‘ah everybody has become autonomous. Whether you fulfil your obligations or not, there is nobody to care. Nor do those who do apparently carry out their obligations do so in a proper manner. They are not constant in attending the congregational Prayer. People are selected to lead the Prayers in the mosque simply because they are fit for no other work: people who exist on the free bread doled out to mosques, who are uneducated, who lack moral caliber. How can congregations led by them turn you into the leaders of mankind? Similar is the situation regarding your Fasting, Almsgiving and Pilgrimages.

Despite all these facts, you may argue, there are nonetheless many Muslims who do discharge their religious duties conscientiously. Why does that make no difference? But, as I have said, when the parts of the clock have become unhinged and numerous foreign bodies have been inserted in it, it makes no difference if you wind it or not, clean it or not, lubricate it or not. From a distance it does look like a clock. An outside observer may say: This is Islam and you are Muslims. But what he cannot see is how badly its inside machinery has been tampered with.

Our Deplorable Condition
Brothers! You understand why it is so that you pray and fast and yet remain trampled under the heel of cruel tyrants. But, should I tell you something even more distressing? Although most of you no doubt regret this situation but, I would say, 999 people out of 1000 are not prepared to change their situation. They have no urge in their hearts to assemble the clock of Islam again properly. They are afraid that any such reconstruction would mean that their own favourite imported parts would be thrown out, and this they are not prepared to accept. They are afraid that any tightening of various parts would means that they will have to discipline themselves, and this they are not willing to undertake.
Instead, they prefer that the clock remains a piece of decoration on the wall for people to be shown and told how wonderful Islam is, what miracles it can perform. Those who are supposed to love this clock more than others would like to wind it repeatedly and zealously and to clean it most laboriously; but they want to do nothing to reset its part properly or tighten them, nor will they seek to get rid of the extraneous parts.

I wish I could endorse your attitudes and behavious, but I cannot say anything which I believe is wrong. I assure you that it if, in addition to praying five times a day, you were to offer Tahajjud (predawn), Ishraq (post-sun rise) and Chasht (mid-morning) Prayers, read the Qur’an for hours every day, and observe, over and above Ramadan, extra fasts for five and a half months in the remaining eleven months, you would still achieve nothing. What is needed is to restore the original parts to the clock and fix them firmly. Then even the little necessary winding will make it work smoothly; and the minimal amount of required cleaning and lubrication will be needed.

Wa ma ‘alayna illa ‘l-balagh

There is no responsibility on us except conveying the truth.

5.Meaning and Blessings Of the Fasting
Brothers in Islam! The second act of worship that Allah enjoins upon you is Sawn or the Fasting. It means abstaining from draws to sunset from eating, drinking and sex. Like the Prayer, this act of worship has been part of the Shari’ahs given by all the Prophets. Their followers fasted as we do. However, the rules, the number of days, and the periods prescribed for fasting have varied from one Shari’ah to another. Today, although fasting remains a part of most religions in some form by accretions of thir own.

O Believers! Fasting is ordained for you, even as it ordined for those before you (al-Baqarah 2: 183).

Why has this particular act of worship been practiced in all eras?

Life of Worship
Islam aims to transform the whole life of man into a life of worship. He is born a slave; and to serve his Creator is his very nature. Not for a single moment should he live without worshipping, that is surrendering to Him in thoughts and deeds. He must remain conscious of what he ought to do to earn the pleasure of God and what he ought to avoid. He should, then, walk on the path leading to Allah’s pleasure, eschew that leading to His displeasure just as he would avoid the embers of a fire. Only when our entire lives have become modeled on this pattern can we be considered to have worshipped our Master as is His due and as having fulfilled the purport of ‘I have not created jinn and men except to worship Me’.

Rituals Lead to a Life of Worship
The real purpose of ritual acts of worship---Salah, Zakah, sawn and Hajj---is to help us come to that life of total worship. Never think that you can acquit yourselves of what you owe to Allah only if you bow and prostrate yourselves five times a day, suffer hunger and thirst from dawn to sumset for thirty days in Ramadan and, if wealthy, give the Alms and perform the Pilgrimage once in a lifetime. Doing all this does not release you from bondage to Him, nor of the underlying purposes of enjoining these rituals upon you is to develop you so that you can transform your whole lives into the ‘Ibadah of God’.

How does the Fasting prepare us for this lifelong act of worship?

Exclusively Private Worship

All acts of worship include some outward physical movement, but not the Fasting. In the Prayer you stand, sit, bow down and prostrate yourselves; all these acts were visible to everybody. In Hajj you undertake a long journey and travel with thousands of people. Zakah, too, is known to at least two persons, the giver and the receiver. None of these other people will come to know about it.

But the Fasting is a form of ‘Ibadah which is entirely private. The All-knowing God alone knows that His servant is fasting. You are required to take food before dawn (Suhur) and abstain from eating and drinking anything till the time to break the Fast (Iftar). But, if you secretly ear and drink in between, nobody except except God will know about it.

Sure Sign of Faith
The private nature of the Fasting ensures that you have strong faith in God as the One who knows everything. Only if your faith is true and strong, you will not dream of eating or drinking secretly: even in the hottest summer, when your throats dry up with thirst, you will not drink a drop of water; even when you feel faint with hunger, when life itself seems to ebbing, you will not eat anything. To do all this, see what firm conviction must you have in that nothing whatsoever can ever be concealed from your God! How strong must be His fear in your hearts. You will keep your Fast for about 360 hours for one full month only because of your profound belief in the reward and punishment of the Hereafter. Had you the slightest doubt in that you have to meet your Maker, you would not complete such a fast. With doubts in hearts, no such resolves can be fulfilled.

Month-long Training
In this way does Allah put to the test a Muslim’s faith for a full month every year. To the extent you emerge successful from this trial, your faith becomes firmer and deeper. The Fasting is both a trial and a training. If you deposit anything on trust with somebody, you are, as it were, testing his integrity. If he does not abuse your trust, he not only passes his test, but, at the same time, also develops greater strength to bear the burden of greater trusts in future. Similarly, Allah puts your faith to severe test continuously for one month, many long hours a day. If you emerge triumphant from this test, more strength develops in you to refrain from other sins. This is what the Qur’an says:

O believers! Fasting is ordained for you, even as it was ordained for those before you, that you might attain to God-consciousness (al-Baqarah 2: 183).

Practicing Obedience
The Fasting has another characteristic. It makes us obey the injunctions of the Shari’ah with sustained intensity for prolonged period of time. Salah lasts only a few minutes at a time. Zakah is paid only once a year. Although the time spent on Hajj is long, it may come only once in a lifetime, and for many not at all. In the school of the Fasting, on the other hand, you are trained to obey the Shari’ah of the Prophet Muhammad, blessing and peace be on him, for one full month, every year, day and night,You have to get up early before dawn for Suhur, stop all eating and drinking precisely at a certain time, do certain activities and abstain from certain activities during the day, break your Fast (Iftar) in the evening at exactly a certain time. Then, for a few moments only you relax, before you hurry for long late evening prayers (Tarawih).

Every year, for one full month from dawn to sunset and from sunset to dawn, you, like a soldier in an army, continuously live a disciplined life, following certain rules all the time. You are then sent back to continueyour normal duties for eleven months so that the training you have received for one month may be reflected in your conduct, and if any deficiency is found it may be made up the next year.

Communal Fasting
Training of such profound nature cannot be imparted to each individual separately. Like how an army is trained, everyone has to act at the same time at the sound of the bugle so that they may develop the team spirit, learn to act in unison, and assist each other in their task of development. Whatever one person lacks may be made up by another, whatever deficiency remains in him may be compensated by yet another.

The month of Ramadan is earmarked for all Muslims to fast together, to ensure similar results. This measure turns individuals ‘Ibadah into collective ‘Ibadah. Just as the number one, when multiplied by thousands, becomes a formidable number, so the moral and spiritual benefits accruing from the Fasting by one person alone are increased a million fold if a million people fast together.

The month of Ramadan suffuses the whole environment with a spirit of righteousness, virtue and piety. As flowers blossom in spring, so does taqwa in Ramadan. Everyone tries extra hard to avoid sin and, if they lapse, they know they can count on the help of their many other brothers who are fasting with them. The desire automically arises in every heart to do good works, to feed the poor, to clothe the naked, to help those in distress, to participate in any good work being done anywhere, and to prevent evil. Just as plants have their season of flowering , so Ramadan is the time of year for the growth and flourishing of good and righteousness.

For this reason the Prophet, blessings and peace be on him, said:

Every good deed of a man is granted manifold increase , ten to seven hundred times. But says Allah: Fasting is an exception; it is exclusively for Me, and I reward for it as much as I wish (Bukhari, Muslim).

All good deeds grow, this shows, in proportion to both the intention of the doer as well as their results, but that there is a limit to their growth. The Fasting, however, has no such limit. In Ramadan, in the season for the flourishing of good and piety, not one but millions of people jointly water this garden of virtue. The more you sincerely perform good deeds in this month and the greater you avail yourselves of its blessings, the more will you radiate their benefits to our other brothers. The more you sustain the impact of the Fasting on your life during the subsequent eleven months, the more will our garden flourish, and flourish without limit. Should its growth become inhibited, the fault must lie with you.

Where Are the Results?
You are now probably saying to yourselves: We do observe the Fasting and perform the Prayers but the promised results are nowhere to be seen. One reason for this situation I have explained earlier. After snapping the vital links between various parts of Islam and injecting into it many new things, you cannot expect the same results as from the Whole.A second reason is that the way you look at the ‘Ibadah has changed. You believe that mere abstention from food and drink, from morning till evening, amounts to ‘Ibadah; once you do all these things you have worshipped Allah. Ninetynine per cent or even more among you are unmindful of the real spirit of ‘Ibadab which should permeate all your actions. That is why the acts of ‘Ibadah do not produce their full and understanding.

6.True Spirit of the Fasting
Spirit and Form
Brothers in Islam! Essentially every work which we do has two components. The first is its purpose and spirit; the second, the particular form which is chosen to achieve that purpose. Take the case of food. Your main purpose in eating is to stay alive and maintain your strength. The method of achieving this object is that you take a piece of food, put it in your mouth, chew it and swallow it. This method is adopted since it is the most effective and appropriate one to achieve your purpose. But everyone knows that the main thing is the purpose for which food is taken and not the form the act of eating takes.

What would you say if someone tried to eat a piece of sawdust or cinder or mud? You would say that he was mad or ill. Why? Because he clearly would not have understood the real purpose of eating and would have erroneously believed that chewing and swallowing constituted eating. Likewise, you would also call someone mad who thrust his fingers down his throat to vomit up the food he had just eaten and then complained that the benefits said to accrue from taking food were not being realized. Rather, on the contrary, he was daily getting thinner. This person blames food for a situation that is due to his own stupidity. Although outward actions are certainly necessary, because without them the bread cannot reach the stomach, the purpose of eating cannot be achieved by merely fulfilling thee outward actions.

The Outward Replaces the Real
Perhaps you can now understand why our ‘Ibadah has become ineffectual and empty. The greatest mistake of all is to take the acts of the Prayer and Fasting and their outward shape as the real ‘Ibadah. If you do so, you are just like the person who thinks that merely performing four acts---taking a pieces of good, putting it in the mouth, chewing it, and swallowing it---make up the process of eating. Such a person imagines that whoever does these four things has eaten the food. He, then, expects that he should receive the benefits of eating irrespective of whether he pushed down into his stomach mud and stone, or vomited up the bread soon after eating it.

Otherwise, how can you explain, that a man who is fasting, and is thus engaged in the ‘Ibadah of God from morning till evening, in the midst of that ‘Ibadah, tells a lie or slanders someone? Why does he quarrel on the slightest pretext and abuse those he is quarreling with? How dare he encroach on other people’s rights? Why does he make money illegally and give money to others illicitly? And how can he claim, having done all these things that he has still performed the ‘Ibadah of Allah? Does this not resemble the actions of that person who eats cinders and mud and thinks that by merely completing the four requirements of eating he has actually done the job of eating?

How,too, can we claim to have worshipped Allah for many long hours throughout Ramadan when the impact of this whole exercise in spiritual and moral upliftment vanishes on the first day of the next month? During the ‘Id days we do all that Hindus do in their festivals, so much so that in some places we even turn to adultery, drinking and gambling. And I have seen some degenerates who fast during the day and drink alcohol and commit adultery at night. Most Muslims, thank God, have not fallen so low. But how many of us still retain any trace of piety and virtue by the second day of ‘Id?

Wrong View of Worship
The reason most of you behave as you do is that the very meaning and purpost of ‘Ibadah has become distorted in your minds. You think that mere abstention from eating and drinking throughout the day is the Fasting. You, therefore, are very particular to observe the minutest details about it. You fear God to the extent that you avoid even the slightest violation of these rules; but you do not appreciate that merely being hungry and thirsty is not the purpose but only the form.

This form has been prescribed to create in you such fear of God and love, such strength of will and character, that, even against your desire, you avoid seemingly profitable things which in fact displease Allah and do those things which possibly entail risks and losses but definitely please God. This strength can be developed only when you understand the purpose of the Fasting and desire to put to use the training you have undergone of curbing your physical desires for the fear and love of God only.

But what happens as soon as Ramadan is over? You throw to the winds all that you gain from the Fasting, just as a man who has eaten food vomits it up by thrusting his fingers down his throat. Just as physical strength cannot be obtained from bread until it is degested, transformed into blood, which spreads through every vein, so spiritual strength cannot be obtained from the Fasting until the person who keeps fast is conscious of its purpose and allows it to permeate his heart and mind and dominate his thoughts, motives and deeds.

Fasting as a Way of Piety
This is why Allah, after ordaining the Fasting, has said that Fasting is made obligatory on you, ‘so that you may attain to God-consciousness’, la’allakum tattaqun.

Note that there is no guarantee that you will definitely become God-conscious and righteous. Only someone who recognizes the purpose of the Fasting and strives to achieve it will receive its blessings; someone who does not, cannot hope to gain anything from it.

Conditions of True Fasting
The Prophet, blessings and peace be on him, has in various ways pointed out the real spirit of fasting and has explained that to go hungry and thirsty while ignoring the spirit carries no value in the sight of God.

Abstention From Falsehood
Once, he said:

If one does not give up speaking falsehood and acting by it, God does not require him to give up eating and drinking (Bukhari).

On another occasion, he said:

Many are the people who fast but who gain nothing from their fast except hunger and thirst; and many are those who stand praying all night but gain nothing except sleeplessness (Darimi).

The lessons are clear and unequivocal: merely being hungry and thirsty is not by itself worship, but a means for performing real worship. Real worship means desisting from violating the law of God out of this fear and this love of God, pursuing activities that please Him, and refraining from the indiscriminate satisfaction of physical desires. If you fast while ignoring this essence of the Fasting, you are simply causing unnecessary inconvenience to you stomachs.

Faith and Self-scrutiny
The Prophet, blessings and peace be on him, draws attention to another aim of fasting thus:

Whoever observes the Fast, believing and counting, has all his past sins forgiven (Bukhari, Muslim). Believing means that faith in God should remain alive in the consciousness of a Muslim. Counting means that you should seek only Allah’s pleasusre, constantly watching over your thoughts and actions to make sure you are doing nothingcontraryh to His pleasure, and trusting and expecting the rewards promised by Allah and the Messenger. Observing these two principles bring the rich reward of all your past sins being forgiven. The reason is obvious: even if you were once disobedient, you will have now turned, fully repentant, to your Master---and ‘a penitent is like one who has, as it were, never committed a sin at all’, as said the Prophet, blessings and peace be on him (Ibn Majah).

Shield Against Sins
On another occasion, the Prophet, blessings and peace be on him, said:

The Fast is like a shield [for protection from Satan’s attack]. Therefore, when one observes the Fast he should [use this shield and] abstain from quarrelling. If anybody abuses him or quarrels with him, he should simply say, Brother, I am fasting [do not expect me to indulge in similar conduct] (Bukhari, Muslim).
Hunger for Goodness

The Prophet, blessings and peace be on him, once directed that a man, while fasting, ought to do more good works than usual and ardently desire to perform acts of kindness. Compassion and sympathy for his brothers should intensify in his heart because, being himself in the throes of hunger and thirst, he will all the more be able to realize the misery of other servants of God who are destitude.

In Ramadan, whoever provides food to a person who is fasting to break that Fast will earn forgiveness for his sins, deliverance from the Fire and as much reward as the one who is fasting, without any reduction in the recompense of the latter (Baihaqi).Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbas tells that Prophet, blessings and peace be on him, used to become unusually kind and generous during Ramadan. No beggar in that period went empty-handed from his door, and as many slaves as possible were set free (Baihaqi).



-------------


Posted By: Suleyman
Date Posted: 09 April 2005 at 1:17pm

Let Us Be Muslim (Salah & Sawm)

Sayyid Abul A'la Maududi



Contents
Meaning and Blessing of the Prayer

What we Say in the Prayer

Blessing of the Congregational Prayer

Has the Prayer Lost its Power

Meaning and Blessing of the Fasting

True Sprit of the Fasting











1.Meaning and Blessings Of the Prayer
Brothers in Islam! The basic and most important act of worship among those which Allah has taught us to perform Salah, or the Prayer. It prepares us to worship Him in our entire lives---the purpose for which He has created us. Consider carefully why it is so important, what is its true meaning and significance.

Remembering God
The Prayer is an act of worship. We should, therefore, first recollect what worship means.Worship means revering, serving and obeying God in our whole lives. Being born as God’s servants, we can not give up serving Him at any time or under any circumstances and still remain His servant as God wanted us to be when He created us. Just as you cannot say that you are creatures of God for a particular time only, so you cannot say that you will spend only a certain amount of time in worshipping Him and be free to spend the rest as you please. You are born to worship Him. Your whole lives should, therefore, be spent in ‘Ibadha, you should not neglect it for a single moment.

It is precisely for this reason that worship does not require giving up the day-to-day world and sitting in a corner chanting God’s name. Worship means that whatever you do in the world should be in accordance with God’s guidance. Whether you sleep, are awake, eat, drink or work ---in fact, whatever activity you do---you worship Allah if these are done in obedience to Him.

When you are at home with your wives and children, brothers and sisters and relatives, behave towards them exactly as God has laid down. When you talk to your friends and amuse yourselves, remain conscious that you are servants of God. When you go out to work and have dealing with other people, keep in view God’s commandments about what behaviour is proper and legitimate and what is not.

When in the dark of night you feel you can commit a sin which nobody in the world can see, then is the time to remember that God is seeing you and it is He, and not your fellow humans, who deserves to be feared. When you find yourselves in a place where you can commit a crime without fear of the police or any witnesses, then again it is time to remember that God sees everything and refrain from doing anything from doing anything for transient gain which would displease Him. And when following the path of truth and honesty causes you material loss or otherwise puts knowledge that you are pleasing Allah by obeying Him and that your gain from Him will far outweigh any temporary, earthly loss.

Abandoning the world and sitting in secluded places counting rosary beads is, therefore, not real worship at all. Worship is to be engaged in everyday affairs and yet follow the way of God. What does remembering God (dhikr) mean? It does not mean merely the continual chanting of ‘Allah, Allah!’. The real remembrance of God consists in recalling to mind the name and will Allah when you are caught up in day-to-day worldly activities. Being engaged in pursuits which could tend to make you forget God and yet not forgetting Him is in fact remembering Him. In this life, where opportunities of huge profits lurk, you must unfailingly remember God and remain steadfast in following His law. This is the true remembrance of God. This is the kind of remembrance the Qur’an refers to thus:

Then, when the Prayer is finished, disperse on earth and seek God’s bounty; but remember God often, so that you may attain success (al-Jumu ‘ah 62: 10).

Blessings of the Prayer
Keep in mind this comprehensive meaning of ‘Ibadah and see how the Prayer helps us realize the qualities which are necessary to live in such ‘Ibadah, what blessings it confers upon us.

Constant Reminder
It is necessary, first, for us to be constantly aware that we are servants of God, that every moment of our lives must be dedicated to adoring and obeying Him.

To cultivate and keep alive this awareness is not an easy task, because there is a Satan within you whose voice constantly tells you : ‘Follow me and great benefits await you’. Similarly, there are multitudes of Satans outside you who, in various guises, keep on telling you: ‘Follow us, otherwise yhou will be in trouble. The spell cast by these Satans and their urgings cannot be overcome unless you are reminded continually that you are slaves to none but God.

This is what the Prayer does. When you get up in the morning, the Prayer reminds you of this even before you start your day. When you are busy in your work during the day, it again reminds you of this fact three times. And when you are about to go to bed, you are reminded once again. This is the first blessing of the Prayer. And this is why the Prayer is described as ‘Remembrance’ in the Qur’an [al-Ankabut 29: 45]. Its true meaning and purpose lie in remembering God.

Sense of Duty
Second, since at every step in your lives you should obey God, it is imperative that you know what is your duty and you cultivate the habit of performing it promptly. If you do not even know what your duty is, how can you ever please God and obey His orders? And, one who understands his duty but, despite his knowledge, due to indiscipline, does not care to perform it, can never be expected to remain prepared and willing to come forward and obey God, every hour or every day, as he must.

Those who have served in the army or police know how they were made to understand and carry out their duties. A bugle is blown several times during the day and night and parades are held at short notice. The purpose of this is to train people to respond and carry out orders. This routine also quickly distinguishes those who are incapable or too lazy to do so. In like manner, the Prayer summons you five times a day. On hearing it, Allah’s soldiers must quickly gather from all sides and prove that they are prepared to obey His call. Any Muslims who do not respond when they hear the Adhan show that either they do not understand the importance and meaning of their duty to God or, if they do understand it, they are so useless that they are unfit to remain in the army of Allah.

It was for this very reason that the Prophet, blessings and peace be on him, said that he felt like going and setting fire to the houses of those who did not stir after hearing the Adhan (Bukhari, Muslim).And this is why, in one Hadith, performance of the Prayer is described as a mark distinguishing Islam from Kufr (Muslim).

During the times of the Prophet and his Companions nobody was considered a Muslim unless he joined the congregational Prayer---so much so that even the hypocrites felt compelled to come. They were rebuked not for abandoning the Prayer, but for the half-hearted way in which they used to perform it: ‘And when they stand up to pray, they stand up reluctantly, only to be seen and praised by men, and not remembering God but a little’ (al-Nisa 4: 42).

You can hardly be considered true Muslims, this shows, if you do not perform the Prayers. For Islam is not a mere matter of doctrinal faith; it is a way of life to be lived in practice. Islam means surrendering to God and fighting against Kufr and evil every minute lives. Its essential message is: always remain prepared to obey God at a moment’s notice.

The Prayer, five times a day, tests again and again whether you are so prepared. Those who claim to be Muslims are tested to see whether they can put their claim into practice. If they cannot, their faith is of little value to Islam. For only they find the Prayer hard and unwelcome whose hearts are devoid of reverence to God and who are not ready to live in submission to Him. ‘And it [the Prayer], indeed, is hard save for the humble who know they shall meet their Lord’ (al Baqarah 2: 45). That they find the Prayer too difficult to perform is itself proof enough that they have no faith in God, no certainty about meeting Him, and are unwilling or unprepared to serve and obey him.

The sense of duty to God and being ever-prepared to obey Him is the second blessing that the Prayer confers upon you.

God-consciousness
Third, consciousness of God---being in His presence, His love and His fear, strength to avoid whatever may displease Him---needs to be kept alive constantly in our hearts. You cannot practice Islam unless you believe that God is seeing you all the time and everywhere, that God sees you even in darkness, and that God is with you even when you are alone. It is possible to hide from the world but not from God, to escape from the punishments of the world, but not from His punishments. It is this awareness, this feeling, this belief, which restrains man from disobeying God and which motivates him to observe all the limits Allah has laid down for his life. Without this awareness you cannot live like a true Muslim lives. Allah has enjoined upon you praying five times a day precisely to help strengthen this awareness in the hearts of the faithful. He has Himself thus described this blessing: ‘Surely the Prayer restrains from all that is shameful and wrong’ (al-‘Ankabut 29: 45).

This awareness becomes deeply embedded in you through the Prayer. For instance, you may perform the Prayer only when you are clean and have done the ablution (wudu’). But who is to know if you have not washed, or if your clothes are unclean, or if you are just pretending to have done wudu’? No one. But you never do such a thing because you are sure that your actions will not be hidden from God. Similarly, no one will know if you do not in fact recite at all those parts of the Prayer which are supposed to be said in a low voice. But you do not ‘cheat’ in this way. Why? Because you believe that God hears everything; He is closer to you than your jugular vein. And, you perform the Prayer even when you are alone---although there would be nobody to know that you had not performed it---because you fully realize that it is impossible to hide any crime from Him.

That is how the Prayer evokes and sustains in the heart of man fear of God and the belief that he lives in His presence. How can you worship and serve God and remain loyal to Him throughout the twenty-four hours of the day and night unless this fear and this awareness are revived continuously in your hearts? Devoid of this feeling, how can you embrace goodness and avoid evil in your daily lives for the sake of God alone?

Making you ever-conscious of God is the third blessing of the Prayer.

Knowledge of God’s Law
Fourth, to worship God you must know what His law is; without knowing it you clearly cannot follow it. Prayer is the instrument through which this knowledge is fostered. The parts of the Qur’an that are recited in the Prayer are intended to teach you the law of God. The Friday congregation and the sermon (Khutubah ) are also designed to provide you with opportunities to learn Islamic teachings. It is your own fault if you do not take the trouble to find out the meaning of what you are reading in the Prayer. It is no use complaining that you do not understand if you have not bothered to try. On the other hand, it is unfortunate that Friday sermons are delivered in a manner which does little to impart the knowledge of Islam.

Collective Life
It is necessary, fifth, that no Muslim should be left alone and on his own in the tumult of life, while worshipping God. Muslims should come together to form strong communities to help each other in their life mission: serving God, obeying Him, observing His law and promulgating it in the world.

Those who are faithful to God and those who reject Him are always arrayed against each other; the struggle between ‘surrender’ and ‘rebellion’ is never ending. The rebels break the laws of God and enforce in their place satanic laws. Individually, Muslims cannot effectively resist this process, and it is, therefore, necessary for the true servants of God to join forces. The Prayer is central to the establishment of this collective strength. Congregational Prayer five times a day, the Friday congregation, the congregation of two ‘Id festivals---all these together make you like a strong wall and create in you that singleness of purpose, cohesiveness and real unity, which are necessary to make you helpers of each other in the cause of Allah in your day-to-day lives.That the Prayer generates and consolidates the social cohesiveness in the Ummah is its fifth blessing.

Brothers in Islam! The Prayer prepares us for ‘Ibadah, for serving and obeying God. Even if you do not understand the full purport of the words you recite, it helps keep alive in your hearts the fear of God and the awareness that He is with you everywhere and He is watching over you; it helps remind you, too, that one day you, along with all mankind, will have to appear before God to give an account of your lives. The Prayer keeps ever-fresh the conscious-ness that you are the slaves of God, and of God only, and that is only to God that obedience and worship are due.

It goes without saying that this faith is all the deeper when you fully appreciate the meaning of the words you are reciting in the Prayer. Then, the power or Prayer is capable of reshaping your entire lives---in thoughts, in words and in deeds.

It is, therefore, important to know the meaning of what you say in your Prayers.

What we Say In the Prayer
Adhan and its Effects

First take the Adhan, by which you are summoned five times a day in the following words:
Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar
Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest.
Ashhadu an la ilaha illa ‘llah
I bear witness that there is no god but Allah.
Ashhadu anna Muhammadu ‘r-rasulu ‘llah
I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messanger of Allah.
Hayya ‘ala ‘s-salah
Come to the Prayer.
Hayya ‘ala ‘l-falah
Come to the well-being.
Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar
Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest.
La ilaha illa llah
There is no god but Allah.

How powerful the Call and how beautiful the words! And how they constantly and powerfully remind us of how bogus are the claims to greatness made by other beings. On earth and in the heavens there is only one Being who is worthy of worship. In His worship alone lies our well-being in this world and in the Hereafter. Who can fail to be moved on hearing this voice? How can anyone who has faith in his heart hear so powerful a call without wanting to rush and bow his head before his Master?

Wudu: Ablution
On hearing the call of Adhan you get up, go and wash yourselves. What does this show? It makes you realize that having an audience with the Lord of all the worlds is very different from everything else you do. Unless you are clean, your clothes are clean, you performed wudu’, you are not worthy of entering His presence. Then, in the course of Wudu’, while washing your limbs, you constantly remember Allah. After finishing it you recite the prayer taught by the Messenger of Allah, blessings and peace be on him. Thus not only your limbs but your hearts are washed clean. Look at the words of this prayer:

Ashhadu an al ilaha illa ‘llagh wahdahu la sharika lah,
wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhu wa rasuluh
I bear witness that there is no god but Allah; He alone is God,None is His partner.
I bear witness that Muhammad is God’s Slave and Messenger.
Allahumma ‘j’ alni mina ‘t-tawwabina wa ‘j’alni mina ‘l-Mutatahhirin
O God! Make me among those who repent and keep themselves Pure.

Niyya: Intention
After this, you stand up for Salah up for Salah. Your faces are directed towards you utter are:
Allahu akbar
Allah is the Greatest.

Proclaiming His sovereignty over everything, you raise your hands to your ears as if you have renounced the world and whatever is in it. You, then, fold your hands; now you are standing reverently before your Lord. Next you make the following submissions.



Tasbih: Glorification
You glorify and praise Allah thus:
Subhanaka ‘llahumma wa bihamdika wa tabaraka ‘smuka wa ta’ala
Jadduka wa la ilala ghayruk
Glory be to Thee, O God, and all the praise that is Thine. Blessed is Thy
Name and exalted is Thy majesty. There is no god but Thee.

Ta’awwudh: Seeking Refuge
You now seek His protection:
A ‘udhu bi ‘llahi mia ‘sh-shaytani ‘r-rajim
I seek refuge in God from Satan, the rejected.

Bismillah: In His Name
You then seek His blessing and help by invoking His name:
Bismi ‘llahi ‘r-Rahmani ‘r-Rahim
I begin in the name of God who is Most Merciful, the Mercy-giving.

Hamd: Praise and Thanks
You praise Him, thank Him, and seek from Him the guidance for your lives. This is what we do in Surah al-Fatihah, the opining Surah in the Qur’an:

Al-hamdu li ‘llahi Rabbi ‘l-alamin
Priase be to God, Lord of the worlds.
Ar-Rahmani ‘r-Rahim
The Most-merciful, the Mercy-giving.
Maliki yawmi ‘d-din
Master of Day of Judgment.
Iyyaka na’budu wa iyyaka nasta’in
Thee alone do we worship and from Thee alone we seek help.
Ihdina’s-sirata ‘l-mustaqim
Direct us on the straight path.
Sirata ‘l-ladhina an’amta ‘alayhim
The path of those whom Thou hast favoured.
Ghayri ‘l-maghdubi ‘alayhim wa la ‘d-dallin
Not those who earn Thy anger nor those who go astray.
Amin!
O God! Let if be so. O Lord! Grant this our prayer.

The Qur’an Reading
Then you recite some parts of the Qur’an, each of which is full of wisdom and beauty. There are instruction, admonitions and lessons as well as directions to guide you on the same straight path for which you have just prayed in Surah
Al-Fatihah. Let us look at the meanings of some of those which you often recite in your Prayers.

Surah al-‘Asr (103)
Wa ‘l-‘asr, inna ‘l-insana la fi khusr
By the fleeing time! Surely man is in [a state of] loss.
Illa ‘l-ladhina amanu wa ‘amilu ‘s-salihat
Except those who believe and do good works.
Wa tawasaw bi ‘l-haqqi wa tawasaw bi ‘s-sabr
And enjoin upon one another to keep to Truth and enjoin
Upon one another to be steadfast.

This Surah teaches us that the only way for man to be saved from loss, failure and destruction is to attain to faith and do good works. Additionally, the faithful must form a group wherein they strive together and help each other in remaining steadfast in the cause of Truth.

Surah al-Ma’un (107)
Ara’ayata ‘l-ladhi yukadhdhibu bi ‘d-din
Have you seen him who gives the lie to Judgement.
Fa dhalika ‘l-ladhi yadu’u ‘l-yatim
That is he who pushes away the orphan.
Wa la yahuddu ‘ala ta’ami ‘l-miskin
And urges not to feed the needy.
Fa waylul li ‘l-musallina ‘l-ladhina hum ‘an salatikhim sahum,
Alladhina hum yura’una wa yamna’una ‘l-ma’un
Woe, them, unto those praying ones who are unmindful of their Prayer, those who want to be seen, and refuse [even] small kindnesses.This Surah teaches us that without faith in the Hereafter, which is the basis of Islam, we can never walk on the path of God and fulfil our duties towards our fellow human beings. Also, a faith which does not lead to responsible and kindly sharing with others is no real faith.

Surah al-humazah (104)
Waylul li kulli humuzati-ni l-lumazah
Woe unto every slanderer, fault-finder!
A ‘l-ladhi jama’a malan wa ‘addadah
To him who amasses wealth and counts it over
Yahsabu anna malaha akhladah
Thinking that his wealth will make him live forever!
Kalla la yunbadhanna fi ‘l-hutamah
Nay, but he shall surely be thrown into the Crusher;
Wa ma adraka ma ‘l-hutamah
And what could convey to you what the Crusher is?
Naru ‘llahi ‘l-muqadata ‘l-lati tattali’u ‘ala ‘l-af’idah
The kindled fire of God, which roars over the hearts
Innaha alayhim musadatun, fi ‘amadin mumaddadah
Surely, it closes in upon them in endless columns.
This Surah, again, instructs us in important social attitudes. It castigates those who engage in slandering others, spreading false reports. Love of worldly wealth is what leads us to treat others with contempt. But that wealth we will have to leave behind, only to see it again as a fire raging in our hearts.
In short, whichever Surahs or Ayahs of the Qur’an you recite in the Prayer they impart some kind of instruction or guidance and point out to you those commandments of God which you should follow.

Ruku’: Bowing Down
After reciting these instructions you say Allahu akbar and perform ruku’. Bending down before your Master with your hands resting on your knees, you repeat (either three or five or seven times):
Subhana Rabbiya ‘l-‘azim
Glory be to my Lord, the Magnificent
Then you stand up straight and say:
Sami’a llahu li man hamidah
Allah listens to him who praises Him

Sujud: Prostration
Then, again saying Allahu akbar, you prostrate yourselves with forehead on the ground, and repeatedly utter:
Subhana Rabbiya ‘l-a ‘la
Glory to my Lord, the Most High.

At-tahiyyat: Salutation.
Then you raise your hands, saying allahu akbar, sit reverently and say:

At-tahiyyati li ‘llahi wa ‘s-slawatu wa ‘t-tayyibat
To God belong all greetings of praise, all prayers, all good deeds.
As-salamu ‘alyka ayyuha ‘n-nabiyyu wa rahmatu ‘llahi wa barakatuh
Peace be on you, O Prophet, and mercy of God and His blessing.
As-salamu ‘alayna wa ‘ala ‘ibadi ‘llahi ‘s-salihin
Peace be on us and on all true servants of God.
Ashhadu an la ilaha illa llah wa ashhadu anna
Muhammadan ‘abduhu wa rasuluh

I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and His Messenger.While giving this testimony you raise you first finger: this symbolize the renewal of your pledge and commitment to the life of witness that you are required to live. While uttering it you must give special attention and emphasis to it.

Salat ‘ala ‘n-nabiy: Blessings Upon the Prophet
After this you call down blessings upon the Prophet Muhammad, blessings and peace be on him:

Allahumma salli ‘ala Muhammadin wa ‘ala ali muhammadin kama sallayta ‘ala Ibrahima wa ‘ala ali Ibrahim, innaka hamidun majid.

Allahumma barik ‘ala Muhammadin wa ‘ala ali Muhammadin kama
Barakta ‘ala Ibrahima wa ‘ala ali Ibrahim, innaka hamidun majid

O God! Have mercy of Muhammad and his people just as Thou blessed Ibrahim and his people. Indeed Thou art adorned with the best qualities and art sublime. O God! Bless Muhammad and his people. Most certainly Thou are adorned with the best qualities and art sublime.

Seeking Protection
The whole Salah is an act of prayer, but towards the end you make a special prayer seeking His protection from all kinds of evils that might afflict you.

Allahumma inna a’udhu bika min ‘adhabi jahannam, wa a’udhu bika min ‘adhubi ‘lqabr, wa a’udhu bika min fitnati ‘l-masihi ‘d-dajjal, wa a’udhu bika min fitnati ‘l-mahya wa ‘l-mamat, wa a’udhu bika min ‘l-ma’thimi wa ‘l-maghrim

God! I seek Your protection from punishment in Hell, and I seek your protection from punishment in the grave, and I seek Your protection from the mischief of al-masihi ‘d-dajjal, and I seek Your protection from the trials of life and death, and I seek Your protection from sins and from indebtedness.

Salam: Greetings
After reciting the above Du’a’, the Prayer is complete. Now you have to return from the audience with your Master. How do you do this? The first thing you do on your return is to turn your heads to the right and to the left and pray for the safety and blessings of all those present and everything in the world:

As-salamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatu ‘llah
Peace be on you and the mercy of God.

This symbolizes good tidings that you have brought for the world on your return from the presence before God.

The above is the Salah which you offer at dawn before you start work. At noon you present yourselves again. In the afternoon you offer the same Salah again and repeat it immediately after sunset. Finally, before going to bed, you present yourselves for the last time before your Master.

Du’a’ Qunut
The concluding part of this Salah consists of witr. In the lask rak’ah of the day, which turns all the rak’ahs you have prayed into an odd number, you make an important and comprehensive covenant with your Master. This is called Du ‘a’ qunut. The meaning of qunut is affirmation of humility, subservience and service before God. Listen carefully to the words with which you make your pledge:

Allahumma inna nasta inuka wa nastaghfiruka wa nu’minu bika wa natawakkalu ‘alayka wa nuthni ‘alayka ‘l-khayr kullahu wa nashkuruka wa la nakfuruka wa nakhla’u wa natruku man yafjuruk

O God! We seek help from Thee; we ask Thee for guidance; we seek Thine forgiveness; we have faith in Thee; we put our trust in Thee; we give all good prises to Thee; we thank Thee, and do not commit ungratefulness; we abandon and leave everyone who disobeys Thee.

Allahumma iyyaka na’budu wa laka nusalli wa nasjudu wa ilayka nas’a wa nahfid, wa narju rahmataka wa nakhsha ‘adhabaka inna ‘adhabaka bi ‘l-kuffari mulhiq

O God! Thee only do we worship. For Thee alone we perform the Prayer and before Thee alone prostrate ourselves. All our endeavours and strivings are directed towards Thee, all our goals are centred on Thee. We hope to receive Thy mercy and fear Thy punishment. Certainly Thy dire punishment will befall only those who are disbelievers.

Character-building
Brothers! The call of the Adhan summons you five times a day to the presence of the Lord of the universe; five times a day you put everything aside to rush to Him; before every Prayer you purify your bodies and souls with wudu’; and you are fully aware of the meaning of the things you are saying during the Prayer. In such circumstances is it not inevitable that the fear of God will arise in your hearts, that you will feel ashamed to break God’s commandments, that your wins will weigh heavily on your consciences? How, then, when you return to your work after the Prayer, can you justify telling or giving bribes, payingor levying interest, and committing indecent or illegal acts? And how, after doing any of these things, can you possibly go back to God at the next Prayer and seriously reaffirm your obedience to Him? Seriously say, thirty-six times a day, ‘Thee alone we worship, Thee alone we ask for help’, and afterwards ask favour of others in worship?

Properly understood and performed, Salah must improve your morals and, where necessary, fundamentally change your lives. This is why Allah emphasizes: ‘Surely Prayer restrains [man] from all that is shameful and wrong’. If it does not, the reason lies in you, not in the Prayer. It is not the fault of soap and water that coal is black.

Perhaps one great obstacle to Prayer doing its purifying work is that you may not fully understand or give serious attention to the words you recite in Arabic. A little extra effort in learning by heart these recitations in our own language may bring you rich reward.

3.Blessings of the Congregational Prayer

























Brothers in Islam! That the Prayer as such has extraordinary power to make us attain to greater and greater heights of obedience and worship is quite obvious. Consider now how much more enriched it becomes, how greatly its efficacy increases in transforming us, when the Prayer is performed in congregation. Indeed in this one single act of Prayer God has given us His choicest gift.

But, first, recollect what worship is and how the Prayer prepares us for it. Worship means making yourselves slaves of God, living in submission to His will, and remaining always ready to obey Him. The qualities that enable you to attain to this state of worship are all developed by the Prayer. These are: consciousness of being a salve to God; faith in God, in His Messenger and in His Book; belief in the life to come; fear of God; awareness that God knows everything and is always close to you; strength of will and preparedness to obey Him; and knowledge of His commandments.

Private Worship of God
Further reflection will show you that an individual, however perfect he may be, cannot worship God as is His due unless other servants of God join him. You cannot obey all the injunctions of God until all those people with whom you have to live day by day, and with who you have to deal continually, become your partners in this worship. Man is not alone in this world: his whole life is bound in a thousand and one relationships with his family members, business associates, friends, neighbours and acquaintances. Worship equally encompasses all these people unite in living by the will of God, all of them can succeed in becoming His faithful servants. But if they are, collectively, bent on disobendience or if they do not support each other in following the commands of God, then will it not be virtually impossible for a lone individual to submit his whole life to the law of God?

Careful reading of the Qur’an shows that God does not desire that simply you, as lone individuals, should become loyal and obediently to Him. This is not enough. You should strive to bring the whole world under God, to spread His word, and implement His laws. Whatever the rule of Satan prevails, you must try to root it out. Let God alone, and no one else, be the Sovereign in man’s life.

This enormous duty entrusted by Allah cannot be performed by one Muslim alone; nor can hundreds of thousands of Muslims, if they remain individuals, be effective against the forces of the servants of Satan. You must, therefore, work together, single-mindedly, but not singly, to fulfil your noble mission.
This entails not merely that you become united, but that you become one, knit together. Your mutual relations should be established on a harmonious basis, without strife and discord. You should obey your leaders and fully understand the limitation of such obedience: where to obey and where to disobey.

See how the congregational Prayer develops all these necessary qualities.

Assembling on One Call
First, as the Adhan summons you to the Prayer, you put everything aside and go to the mosque. The mobilization of Muslims from all sides on hearing this call and their gathering at one centre creates in them a sense of discipline as is found in an ‘army’. The sound of a ‘bugle’ tells ‘soldiers’ that their ‘commander’ is calling them; their immediate thought is to obey the call and assemble at a previously agreed place. And so they do. The army adopts such a system to ingrain in every soldier the habit of obedience, both at individual and groups levels, and to weld them into a cohesive team. Thus if they ever face armed combat it will be as a unit with identical objectives. If soldiers, however good they may be individually at fighting, however well trained and brave, fight with each fighting his own battle, a platoon of fifty soldiers of the enemy can defeat one thousand such brave soldiers by picking them off individually.

For exactly the same reason, you are required to assemble for the Prayer five times a day on hearing the call of the Adan, leaving behind everything. But, the resemblance ends here. Beyond this, you, as Muslims, are the army of God and the duty of this army is much harder and radically different than that of any other army in the world. For other armies, wars are fought on one front at a time, and for selfish ends. But the army of God has to wage perpetual war, and that too, against the forces of Satan, within their selves and in the world at large. Gathering five times a day at the sound of the Divine ‘bugle’ is a sign of its constant readiness for this continuing battle. In view of the gigantic task they face, this strict discipline should look easy.

Purposeful Assembly
Gathering in the mosque, then, itself yields many benefits: here you meet each other, come to recogmnize each other, and come to know each other. And what makes you come close to one another? You come together as slaves of God, followers of one Prophet, believers in one Book, with a single objective inlife, both inside and outside the mosque. Such acquaintance, such unity, and such attachment automatically leaven and quicken in you the feeling that you are all one community, soldiers of the same army, brothers unto each other. Your interests, your aims, your losses and gains, are the same; and your lives are bound in with one another.

Fellowship
Again, you see and meet each other not like enemies or strangers, but like friends and brothers. As such, when you notice that one brother is in ragged clothes, another seems unhappy, another does not have enough to eat, while others are disabled, crippled or blind, then inevitably compassion is aroused in your hearts. Those of you who are well-off will help the poor and needy; the afflicted will find the courage to approach the rich; you will visit those who, for some reason, cannot get to the mosque; and if one of our brothers dies you will also join in his funeral prayer and share the grief of the bereaved family. All these things strengthen the spirit of mutual affection and make you mutual helpers.

The Sacred Purpose
Think further: you have gathered at a sacred place for a sacred purpose. This is not an assembly of thieves, drunkards, gamblers, or exploiters, but a gathering of slaves of Allah’s house. In such a setting, a sincere person would, automatically, feel ashamed of his sins. But his shame would be overwhelming. And he would particularly want to repent if any of those who ever affected by his sin or who witnessed it were gathered with him. Indeed, the blessings of congregational Prayer will multiply manifold if you also know how to counsel each other and help each other in correcting yourselves, with sympathy, love and understanding. Individual deficiencies will then easily be removed and the whole community will quickly grow together in virtue and piety.

Brotherhood
This is how merely getting together to pray benefits you, But there are many more blessings in the way the congregational Prayers are performed.

You stand in a row shoulder to shoulder with each other. No one is higher or lower in status than his neighbour. In the Divine court, in the presence of

God, you all belong to one class, you all have the same status. Nobody feels polluted if a fellow-worshipper’s hand or body touches him. We are all equally pure because we are all human beings. We are all slaves of one God and believers in one Din.

All ethnic and linguistic prejudices are also destroyed. Although there are differences among Muslims of family, tribe and country---someone is Sayyid, someone is Pathan, someone is Rajput, someone is Jat, someone belongs to one country and someone to another, some speak one language and some another---yet all stand in one row, worshipping the One God. This signifies that you all are one people, belong to one nation. Divisions on family, tribal or national lines have no basis whatever. What binds you together is that you all serve and worship God. When you are one in the Prayer, why should you be divided about other things?

Uniformity in Movements
Again, when you stand shoulder to shoulder with each other, you look like an army presenting itself for service before its monarch. By standing in a line and by making movements in unison, a remarkable spirit of unity develops in your minds. You are made to do this practice, to become one in the service of God, in such a manner that all of you raise your hands together and move your feet together as if you are not ten, twenty, one hundred or one thousand people, but have become one person.

Uniformity in Prayers
What do you do after thus standing together in one line? With one voice you submit to your Master:

Iyyaka na’budu wa iyyaka nasta’in
Thee alone do we worship; Thee alone do we ask for help.

Ihdina ‘s-srata ‘l-mustaqim
Guide us to the straight path.

Also:
Rabbana laka ‘l hamd

Our God! All praise is for Thee only.
And:
As-salamu ‘alayna wa ‘ala ‘ibadi ‘llahi ‘s-salihin
Peace be on us and on all true servants of Gods.
Then, as you finish the Prayers, you pray thus for peace, mercy and grace upon each other:

As-salamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatu ‘allah
Peace be on you all, and the mercy of God.

This means that all of us wish each other well. Everyone unites to pray to one Master for the well being of all. None of us asks for everything for himself only. Everybody’s wish is that God’s benevolence be bestowed on all, that all be granted the ability to walk on the one straight path and that all share together the blessings of God. In this way the Prayer unites your hearts, creates harmony in your thoughts and develops among you a relationship of well-wishing towards each other.

Leadership
Now remember that we never offer the congregational Prayer without an Imam who leads the congregation. Even when two men pray together, one of them will be Imam and the other follower. Once the congregation (Jama ‘ah) has been formed, it is strictly prohibited to perform the Prayer outside it. If you do, your Prayer will be invalid. Latecomers must join the congregation behind the same Imam.

All these teachings are not meant for the Prayer only. In fact, they impart a very important lesson: if you want to live as Muslims, live as you pray: united and organized, to secede from it means that your lives have ceased to be the lives of Muslims.

Nature and Qualities of Leadership
A Muslim’s entire life is a life of prayer; the entire earth, for him, is a ‘mosque’ where only one God is to be worshipped. The relation between the Imam and his followers within the congregational Prayer has, therefore, been designed to teach us important lessons about leadership: how you should relate to your leaders outside the mosque, what their duties and their rights are; how you should obey them, and in what matters; what you should do if they make mistakes; to what extent you are obliged to follow them when they go wrong; on what occasions you have the right and duty to point out their errors; when you can demand that they correct their mistakes; and, at what juncture you can remove them from leadership. How to fashion your organized and communal living is something you can learn about five times a day in any small mosque.

Consider only a few obvious and important principles regarding an Imam and the guidance they provide us in our macro-life.

Piety and Virtue
One: An Imam must be the best in character, piety and righteousness. He must have greater knowledge of Islam, especially of the Qur’an, then others. He should be of mature years. The Prophet, blessings and peace be on him, has also explained other. This tells you, too, which attributes you should keep in view when choosing a leader for a community or state.

Majority Representation
Two: An Imam should be liked and respected by the majority of the congregation; none should lead the Prayer against their wishes. Here again is an important principle for electing a leader.

Sympathy and Compassion
Three: An Imam should lead the congregation in Prayer in such a way that no trouble is caused even to the old in the congregation. He should not make lengthy recitations nor make long ruku’ and sujud, which may suit only the young, strong and healthy and those with plenty of leisure time. He should take note also of those who are old, sick and weak and those who are busy in their work. The Prophet, blessings and peace be on him, set an example of such kindness and compassion and love: if he heard children crying while he was leading the congregation in Prayer, he used to shorten it so that their mothers, if they were behind him, could leave quickly (Bukhari, Muslim).

Vacating Office
Four: If an Imam meets with an accident while leading the Prayer, he must immediately hand over his office to one of the men behind. This means that it is obligatory on a nation’s leader too to resign when he feels unable to carry out his functions. In this there is no shame, nor should selfishness prevent him from doing so.

Obedience to Leaders
Five; The actions of an Imam should be strictly followed. To make a move before he moves is strictly prohibited, so much so that, according to one Hadith, Imam does will be raised after death as an ass (Bukhari, Muslim). Here citizens of a nation have been given a lesson on how they should obey those who govern them.

Criticizing and Correcting Mistakes
Six: An Imam may make a mistake in Salah. For example, he may rise when he should sit, or sit when he should rise. Such errors must be pointed out to him with the phrase, ‘Subhanallah’ (Glory be to Allah). To say Subhaanallah when the Imam commits a mistake means: Allah alone is pure, holy and above error; as you are a human being it is not surprising that you have made a mistake, but correct yourself. Thus warned, it is incumbent on the Imam to correct his mistake without any hesitation or discomfort, without any feeling of loss of prestige.

If, after this notice of correction, the Imam feels confident that what he did was right he can continue as he thinks fit, and in such an eventuality the duty of the congregation is to follow him in spite of knowing that he is wrong. After finishing the Salah the followers have the right to try to convince the Imam of his mistake and to demand from him that he conduct the Salah afresh.

No Obedience in Sin
Seven: This procedure is limited to situations which involve minor mistakes. But if the Imam, contrary to the Prophet’s Sunnah, changes the method of the Salah, or knowingly recites the Qur’an incorrectly in the Salah, or, while conducting it, indulges in act of Kufr or Shirk, or commits a clear sin, it is incumbent on the member of the jama’ah immediately to break away from the congregation and discontinue the Salah.

In all the above seven points concerning the congregational Prayer, striking parallels can be drawn between the relationship of an Imam and his followers and a head of state and the citizens of that state.

4.Has the Prayer Lost its Power?













Brothers in Islam! Undoubtedly you often ask yourselves: Why is it that the Prayer, good and beneficial as it is, seems to make no difference to our lives? Why does it neither improve our morals, nor transform us into a force dedicated to Allah? Why do we continue to live disgraced and subjugated?

The usual answer will be that you are not offering the Prayer regularly or in the manner prescribed by Allah and the Messenger. Such an answer may not satisfy you. I shall, therefore, try to explain the matter in some detail.

Parable of the Clock
Look at the clock fixed to the wall: there are lots of small parts in it, joined to each other. When you wind it, all the parts start working and, as these parts move, the results appear on the clock face outside it which you observe. Both hands move to denote each second and each minute. The purpose of the clock is to indicate correct time. All those parts which are necessary for this purpose have been made so that each of them moves as required. Only when all the parts have been assembled correctly and the clock wound up properly will it begin fulfilling the purpose for which it is made.

If you do not wind it, it will not show the time. If you wind it but not according to the prescribed method, it will stop or, even if it works, it will not give the correct time. If you remove some of the parts and then wind it, nothing will happen. If you replace some of the parts with those of a sewing machine and then wind it, it will neither indicate the time nor sew the cloth. If you keep all the parts inside the case but disconnect them, then no part will move even after winding it up. The presence of all the parts will not serve the purpose for which the clock is made because you will have disrupted their arrangement as well as their connection.

In all these situations, both the existence of the clock and the act of winding it become useless, although an observe from a distance cannot say that it is not a clock or that you are not winding it. He will surely consider that it is a clock and will expect it to be useful as a clock. Similarly, when from a distance he observes you winding it, he will take it as a genuine effort on your part to do the job, hoping to notice the result which come from winding the clock. But how can this expectation be fulfilled when what looks like a clock from a distance has in reality lost is ‘existence’?

Aim of Muslim Ummah
Imagine Islam like this clock. Just as the purpose of the clock is to indicate the correct time, so the aim of Islam is that you should live in this world as the vicegerents of God, as witnesses of God unto mankind and as standard-bearers of truth. You must yourselves follow the commandments of God and bring all other people under Him:

You are indeed the best community brought forth for mankind: you enjoin the doing of right and forbid the doing of wrong, and you believe in God

(Al ‘Imram 3: 110).

And thus We have made you a just community, that you might be witnesses unto mankind (al-Baqarah 2: 143).

God has promised those of you who believe and do righteous deds that He will surely make you to accede to power on earth (al-Nur 24: 55).

And fight them, until there is no rebellion [against God], and all lsubmission is to God alone (al-Anfal 8: 39).

Wholeness of Islamic Teachings
To fulfil this purpose, various parts as were required, like those of the clock, have been brought together in Islam. Beliefs and principles of morality; rules for day-to-day conduct; the rights of God, of His slaves, of one’s own self, of everything in the world which you encounter; rules for earning and spending money; laws of war and peace; principals of government and limits of obedience to it---all these are parts of Islam. As in a clock, they are linked to each other in such a way that as soon as the winding is done, every part starts moving and, with the movement of all these parts, the desired result is obtained. Rule of God’s ;aw in the world, domination of Islam, start manifesting just as, with the movement of the parts of the clock in front of you, the time appears on its face.

In order to fasten together different parts of the clock, screws and small pieces of metal have been used.

Similarly, to join all the parts of Islam together, there is an arrangement called the Jama ‘ah or organization. Muslims should organize themselves, and have leaders equipped with proper knowledge and endowed with taqwa; the brains should help them and the limbs should obey them, as they all strive to live under God.

When all the parts have been brought together and property assembled, regular winding is necessary to set them in motion and to continue their movement: Salah which is offered five times a day provides that winding, creating the energy which sets an Islamic life in motion. Cleaning this clock is also necessary: fasting observed for thirty days a year cleanes hearts and morals. Lubrication, too, is required: Zakah is like the oil which is applied to its parts once a year. Then it is also necessary to overhaul it periodically: Hajj is that overhauling which should be performed at least once in a lifetime. And the more often it is done, the better.

Abusing the Clock
The processes of winding, cleaning, lubricating and overhauling are of use only when all the parts are present in the frame, when they are linked in the order designed by the clock-maker, and when all are so trained that immediately on winding they start moving and begin showing results.
Alas, today the situation has become very different. For a start, the very Jama ‘ah, the organizational structure, which was supposed to link the parts of the clock together has ceased to exist. The result is that all the fittings have come apart, each has gone its own way. Everybody does whatever takes his fancy. There is nobody to question anything. Everyone is autonomous. If someone wants to follow the Islamic code, he can; if he does not want to, he need not.

Since even this so-called freedom has not satisfied you, you have pulled out many parts of the clock and in their place put anything and everything: a spare part from a sewing machine, perhaps, or from a factory or from the engine of a car. You call yourselves Muslims, yet you render loyal service to Kufr, yet you take interest, you insure your lives, you file false law suits, your daughters, sisters and wives are forsaking Islamic manners and your children are being given secular materialistic educations. Some have become disciples of Gandhi; others are following Lenin. Which un-Islamic gadget is there that you have not fixed into the frame of the clock of Islam?

Despite this, you expect the clock to work when you wind it! And you suppose that cleaning, lubricating and overhauling it will also be of use. With a little reflection, however, you should see that in the condition to which you have reduced the clock you can wind it, lubricate it, and overhaul it, for the whole of your lives without any effect. Nothing will happen until you remove the parts brought in from other applicnaces, replace them with the original parts, and restore the original priorities. Then, and only then, will the winding and so forth produce any results.

Why Worship Rites Are Ineffective
This state of affairs is the real reason why your Salah, Sawn, Zakah and Hajj make no impact upon your lives. First, there are so few among you who perform these acts of worship. Due to the dissolution of Islamic Jama ‘ah everybody has become autonomous. Whether you fulfil your obligations or not, there is nobody to care. Nor do those who do apparently carry out their obligations do so in a proper manner. They are not constant in attending the congregational Prayer. People are selected to lead the Prayers in the mosque simply because they are fit for no other work: people who exist on the free bread doled out to mosques, who are uneducated, who lack moral caliber. How can congregations led by them turn you into the leaders of mankind? Similar is the situation regarding your Fasting, Almsgiving and Pilgrimages.

Despite all these facts, you may argue, there are nonetheless many Muslims who do discharge their religious duties conscientiously. Why does that make no difference? But, as I have said, when the parts of the clock have become unhinged and numerous foreign bodies have been inserted in it, it makes no difference if you wind it or not, clean it or not, lubricate it or not. From a distance it does look like a clock. An outside observer may say: This is Islam and you are Muslims. But what he cannot see is how badly its inside machinery has been tampered with.

Our Deplorable Condition
Brothers! You understand why it is so that you pray and fast and yet remain trampled under the heel of cruel tyrants. But, should I tell you something even more distressing? Although most of you no doubt regret this situation but, I would say, 999 people out of 1000 are not prepared to change their situation. They have no urge in their hearts to assemble the clock of Islam again properly. They are afraid that any such reconstruction would mean that their own favourite imported parts would be thrown out, and this they are not prepared to accept. They are afraid that any tightening of various parts would means that they will have to discipline themselves, and this they are not willing to undertake.
Instead, they prefer that the clock remains a piece of decoration on the wall for people to be shown and told how wonderful Islam is, what miracles it can perform. Those who are supposed to love this clock more than others would like to wind it repeatedly and zealously and to clean it most laboriously; but they want to do nothing to reset its part properly or tighten them, nor will they seek to get rid of the extraneous parts.

I wish I could endorse your attitudes and behavious, but I cannot say anything which I believe is wrong. I assure you that it if, in addition to praying five times a day, you were to offer Tahajjud (predawn), Ishraq (post-sun rise) and Chasht (mid-morning) Prayers, read the Qur’an for hours every day, and observe, over and above Ramadan, extra fasts for five and a half months in the remaining eleven months, you would still achieve nothing. What is needed is to restore the original parts to the clock and fix them firmly. Then even the little necessary winding will make it work smoothly; and the minimal amount of required cleaning and lubrication will be needed.

Wa ma ‘alayna illa ‘l-balagh

There is no responsibility on us except conveying the truth.

5.Meaning and Blessings Of the Fasting
Brothers in Islam! The second act of worship that Allah enjoins upon you is Sawn or the Fasting. It means abstaining from draws to sunset from eating, drinking and sex. Like the Prayer, this act of worship has been part of the Shari’ahs given by all the Prophets. Their followers fasted as we do. However, the rules, the number of days, and the periods prescribed for fasting have varied from one Shari’ah to another. Today, although fasting remains a part of most religions in some form by accretions of thir own.

O Believers! Fasting is ordained for you, even as it ordined for those before you (al-Baqarah 2: 183).

Why has this particular act of worship been practiced in all eras?

Life of Worship
Islam aims to transform the whole life of man into a life of worship. He is born a slave; and to serve his Creator is his very nature. Not for a single moment should he live without worshipping, that is surrendering to Him in thoughts and deeds. He must remain conscious of what he ought to do to earn the pleasure of God and what he ought to avoid. He should, then, walk on the path leading to Allah’s pleasure, eschew that leading to His displeasure just as he would avoid the embers of a fire. Only when our entire lives have become modeled on this pattern can we be considered to have worshipped our Master as is His due and as having fulfilled the purport of ‘I have not created jinn and men except to worship Me’.

Rituals Lead to a Life of Worship
The real purpose of ritual acts of worship---Salah, Zakah, sawn and Hajj---is to help us come to that life of total worship. Never think that you can acquit yourselves of what you owe to Allah only if you bow and prostrate yourselves five times a day, suffer hunger and thirst from dawn to sumset for thirty days in Ramadan and, if wealthy, give the Alms and perform the Pilgrimage once in a lifetime. Doing all this does not release you from bondage to Him, nor of the underlying purposes of enjoining these rituals upon you is to develop you so that you can transform your whole lives into the ‘Ibadah of God’.

How does the Fasting prepare us for this lifelong act of worship?

Exclusively Private Worship

All acts of worship include some outward physical movement, but not the Fasting. In the Prayer you stand, sit, bow down and prostrate yourselves; all these acts were visible to everybody. In Hajj you undertake a long journey and travel with thousands of people. Zakah, too, is known to at least two persons, the giver and the receiver. None of these other people will come to know about it.

But the Fasting is a form of ‘Ibadah which is entirely private. The All-knowing God alone knows that His servant is fasting. You are required to take food before dawn (Suhur) and abstain from eating and drinking anything till the time to break the Fast (Iftar). But, if you secretly ear and drink in between, nobody except except God will know about it.

Sure Sign of Faith
The private nature of the Fasting ensures that you have strong faith in God as the One who knows everything. Only if your faith is true and strong, you will not dream of eating or drinking secretly: even in the hottest summer, when your throats dry up with thirst, you will not drink a drop of water; even when you feel faint with hunger, when life itself seems to ebbing, you will not eat anything. To do all this, see what firm conviction must you have in that nothing whatsoever can ever be concealed from your God! How strong must be His fear in your hearts. You will keep your Fast for about 360 hours for one full month only because of your profound belief in the reward and punishment of the Hereafter. Had you the slightest doubt in that you have to meet your Maker, you would not complete such a fast. With doubts in hearts, no such resolves can be fulfilled.

Month-long Training
In this way does Allah put to the test a Muslim’s faith for a full month every year. To the extent you emerge successful from this trial, your faith becomes firmer and deeper. The Fasting is both a trial and a training. If you deposit anything on trust with somebody, you are, as it were, testing his integrity. If he does not abuse your trust, he not only passes his test, but, at the same time, also develops greater strength to bear the burden of greater trusts in future. Similarly, Allah puts your faith to severe test continuously for one month, many long hours a day. If you emerge triumphant from this test, more strength develops in you to refrain from other sins. This is what the Qur’an says:

O believers! Fasting is ordained for you, even as it was ordained for those before you, that you might attain to God-consciousness (al-Baqarah 2: 183).

Practicing Obedience
The Fasting has another characteristic. It makes us obey the injunctions of the Shari’ah with sustained intensity for prolonged period of time. Salah lasts only a few minutes at a time. Zakah is paid only once a year. Although the time spent on Hajj is long, it may come only once in a lifetime, and for many not at all. In the school of the Fasting, on the other hand, you are trained to obey the Shari’ah of the Prophet Muhammad, blessing and peace be on him, for one full month, every year, day and night,You have to get up early before dawn for Suhur, stop all eating and drinking precisely at a certain time, do certain activities and abstain from certain activities during the day, break your Fast (Iftar) in the evening at exactly a certain time. Then, for a few moments only you relax, before you hurry for long late evening prayers (Tarawih).

Every year, for one full month from dawn to sunset and from sunset to dawn, you, like a soldier in an army, continuously live a disciplined life, following certain rules all the time. You are then sent back to continueyour normal duties for eleven months so that the training you have received for one month may be reflected in your conduct, and if any deficiency is found it may be made up the next year.

Communal Fasting
Training of such profound nature cannot be imparted to each individual separately. Like how an army is trained, everyone has to act at the same time at the sound of the bugle so that they may develop the team spirit, learn to act in unison, and assist each other in their task of development. Whatever one person lacks may be made up by another, whatever deficiency remains in him may be compensated by yet another.

The month of Ramadan is earmarked for all Muslims to fast together, to ensure similar results. This measure turns individuals ‘Ibadah into collective ‘Ibadah. Just as the number one, when multiplied by thousands, becomes a formidable number, so the moral and spiritual benefits accruing from the Fasting by one person alone are increased a million fold if a million people fast together.

The month of Ramadan suffuses the whole environment with a spirit of righteousness, virtue and piety. As flowers blossom in spring, so does taqwa in Ramadan. Everyone tries extra hard to avoid sin and, if they lapse, they know they can count on the help of their many other brothers who are fasting with them. The desire automically arises in every heart to do good works, to feed the poor, to clothe the naked, to help those in distress, to participate in any good work being done anywhere, and to prevent evil. Just as plants have their season of flowering , so Ramadan is the time of year for the growth and flourishing of good and righteousness.

For this reason the Prophet, blessings and peace be on him, said:

Every good deed of a man is granted manifold increase , ten to seven hundred times. But says Allah: Fasting is an exception; it is exclusively for Me, and I reward for it as much as I wish (Bukhari, Muslim).

All good deeds grow, this shows, in proportion to both the intention of the doer as well as their results, but that there is a limit to their growth. The Fasting, however, has no such limit. In Ramadan, in the season for the flourishing of good and piety, not one but millions of people jointly water this garden of virtue. The more you sincerely perform good deeds in this month and the greater you avail yourselves of its blessings, the more will you radiate their benefits to our other brothers. The more you sustain the impact of the Fasting on your life during the subsequent eleven months, the more will our garden flourish, and flourish without limit. Should its growth become inhibited, the fault must lie with you.

Where Are the Results?
You are now probably saying to yourselves: We do observe the Fasting and perform the Prayers but the promised results are nowhere to be seen. One reason for this situation I have explained earlier. After snapping the vital links between various parts of Islam and injecting into it many new things, you cannot expect the same results as from the Whole.A second reason is that the way you look at the ‘Ibadah has changed. You believe that mere abstention from food and drink, from morning till evening, amounts to ‘Ibadah; once you do all these things you have worshipped Allah. Ninetynine per cent or even more among you are unmindful of the real spirit of ‘Ibadab which should permeate all your actions. That is why the acts of ‘Ibadah do not produce their full and understanding.

6.True Spirit of the Fasting
Spirit and Form
Brothers in Islam! Essentially every work which we do has two components. The first is its purpose and spirit; the second, the particular form which is chosen to achieve that purpose. Take the case of food. Your main purpose in eating is to stay alive and maintain your strength. The method of achieving this object is that you take a piece of food, put it in your mouth, chew it and swallow it. This method is adopted since it is the most effective and appropriate one to achieve your purpose. But everyone knows that the main thing is the purpose for which food is taken and not the form the act of eating takes.

What would you say if someone tried to eat a piece of sawdust or cinder or mud? You would say that he was mad or ill. Why? Because he clearly would not have understood the real purpose of eating and would have erroneously believed that chewing and swallowing constituted eating. Likewise, you would also call someone mad who thrust his fingers down his throat to vomit up the food he had just eaten and then complained that the benefits said to accrue from taking food were not being realized. Rather, on the contrary, he was daily getting thinner. This person blames food for a situation that is due to his own stupidity. Although outward actions are certainly necessary, because without them the bread cannot reach the stomach, the purpose of eating cannot be achieved by merely fulfilling thee outward actions.

The Outward Replaces the Real
Perhaps you can now understand why our ‘Ibadah has become ineffectual and empty. The greatest mistake of all is to take the acts of the Prayer and Fasting and their outward shape as the real ‘Ibadah. If you do so, you are just like the person who thinks that merely performing four acts---taking a pieces of good, putting it in the mouth, chewing it, and swallowing it---make up the process of eating. Such a person imagines that whoever does these four things has eaten the food. He, then, expects that he should receive the benefits of eating irrespective of whether he pushed down into his stomach mud and stone, or vomited up the bread soon after eating it.

Otherwise, how can you explain, that a man who is fasting, and is thus engaged in the ‘Ibadah of God from morning till evening, in the midst of that ‘Ibadah, tells a lie or slanders someone? Why does he quarrel on the slightest pretext and abuse those he is quarreling with? How dare he encroach on other people’s rights? Why does he make money illegally and give money to others illicitly? And how can he claim, having done all these things that he has still performed the ‘Ibadah of Allah? Does this not resemble the actions of that person who eats cinders and mud and thinks that by merely completing the four requirements of eating he has actually done the job of eating?

How,too, can we claim to have worshipped Allah for many long hours throughout Ramadan when the impact of this whole exercise in spiritual and moral upliftment vanishes on the first day of the next month? During the ‘Id days we do all that Hindus do in their festivals, so much so that in some places we even turn to adultery, drinking and gambling. And I have seen some degenerates who fast during the day and drink alcohol and commit adultery at night. Most Muslims, thank God, have not fallen so low. But how many of us still retain any trace of piety and virtue by the second day of ‘Id?

Wrong View of Worship
The reason most of you behave as you do is that the very meaning and purpost of ‘Ibadah has become distorted in your minds. You think that mere abstention from eating and drinking throughout the day is the Fasting. You, therefore, are very particular to observe the minutest details about it. You fear God to the extent that you avoid even the slightest violation of these rules; but you do not appreciate that merely being hungry and thirsty is not the purpose but only the form.

This form has been prescribed to create in you such fear of God and love, such strength of will and character, that, even against your desire, you avoid seemingly profitable things which in fact displease Allah and do those things which possibly entail risks and losses but definitely please God. This strength can be developed only when you understand the purpose of the Fasting and desire to put to use the training you have undergone of curbing your physical desires for the fear and love of God only.

But what happens as soon as Ramadan is over? You throw to the winds all that you gain from the Fasting, just as a man who has eaten food vomits it up by thrusting his fingers down his throat. Just as physical strength cannot be obtained from bread until it is degested, transformed into blood, which spreads through every vein, so spiritual strength cannot be obtained from the Fasting until the person who keeps fast is conscious of its purpose and allows it to permeate his heart and mind and dominate his thoughts, motives and deeds.

Fasting as a Way of Piety
This is why Allah, after ordaining the Fasting, has said that Fasting is made obligatory on you, ‘so that you may attain to God-consciousness’, la’allakum tattaqun.

Note that there is no guarantee that you will definitely become God-conscious and righteous. Only someone who recognizes the purpose of the Fasting and strives to achieve it will receive its blessings; someone who does not, cannot hope to gain anything from it.

Conditions of True Fasting
The Prophet, blessings and peace be on him, has in various ways pointed out the real spirit of fasting and has explained that to go hungry and thirsty while ignoring the spirit carries no value in the sight of God.

Abstention From Falsehood
Once, he said:

If one does not give up speaking falsehood and acting by it, God does not require him to give up eating and drinking (Bukhari).

On another occasion, he said:

Many are the people who fast but who gain nothing from their fast except hunger and thirst; and many are those who stand praying all night but gain nothing except sleeplessness (Darimi).

The lessons are clear and unequivocal: merely being hungry and thirsty is not by itself worship, but a means for performing real worship. Real worship means desisting from violating the law of God out of this fear and this love of God, pursuing activities that please Him, and refraining from the indiscriminate satisfaction of physical desires. If you fast while ignoring this essence of the Fasting, you are simply causing unnecessary inconvenience to you stomachs.

Faith and Self-scrutiny
The Prophet, blessings and peace be on him, draws attention to another aim of fasting thus:

Whoever observes the Fast, believing and counting, has all his past sins forgiven (Bukhari, Muslim). Believing means that faith in God should remain alive in the consciousness of a Muslim. Counting means that you should seek only Allah’s pleasusre, constantly watching over your thoughts and actions to make sure you are doing nothingcontraryh to His pleasure, and trusting and expecting the rewards promised by Allah and the Messenger. Observing these two principles bring the rich reward of all your past sins being forgiven. The reason is obvious: even if you were once disobedient, you will have now turned, fully repentant, to your Master---and ‘a penitent is like one who has, as it were, never committed a sin at all’, as said the Prophet, blessings and peace be on him (Ibn Majah).

Shield Against Sins
On another occasion, the Prophet, blessings and peace be on him, said:

The Fast is like a shield [for protection from Satan’s attack]. Therefore, when one observes the Fast he should [use this shield and] abstain from quarrelling. If anybody abuses him or quarrels with him, he should simply say, Brother, I am fasting [do not expect me to indulge in similar conduct] (Bukhari, Muslim).
Hunger for Goodness

The Prophet, blessings and peace be on him, once directed that a man, while fasting, ought to do more good works than usual and ardently desire to perform acts of kindness. Compassion and sympathy for his brothers should intensify in his heart because, being himself in the throes of hunger and thirst, he will all the more be able to realize the misery of other servants of God who are destitude.

In Ramadan, whoever provides food to a person who is fasting to break that Fast will earn forgiveness for his sins, deliverance from the Fire and as much reward as the one who is fasting, without any reduction in the recompense of the latter (Baihaqi).Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbas tells that Prophet, blessings and peace be on him, used to become unusually kind and generous during Ramadan. No beggar in that period went empty-handed from his door, and as many slaves as possible were set free (Baihaqi).



-------------


Posted By: MOCKBA
Date Posted: 09 April 2005 at 10:53pm

SubhanAllah!

Always thought that "Let Us Be Muslims" is a must.

It is good to have entire book pasted. Wouldn't it be better if we offerd a link with a bit of our personal comments or review. Unless of course it is not available on-line.

Let's just not start pasting Sahih al Bukhari... or Imaam Malik's al Muwatta. 

Salaam.

MOCKBA



Posted By: Suleyman
Date Posted: 10 April 2005 at 1:02am

Es_Selam'un Aleykum ve Rahmetullahi ve Berakatuh Brother Mockba,

 Brother,thank you very much for your concern.I have started a project including more or less 56 books of Maulana Mududi pasting to this side of the board,i want to make the board full efficient on finding the online books...i wish this will help to the reverts for improving their knowledges/this not the only source;just an start and one part of the dimension...

 Coming to your suggestion on the availibility of supplying an link to these books;no it is not available;because i made an high level search for finding them and so many of them is not available at the official site of Maulana Maududi;some of them is av.,but i forgot where i have found from....

 Brother Mockba,i think you know so much about MM;the four quranic terms is on the way



-------------



Print Page | Close Window